Luton Clinical Commissioning Group

NHS Luton Clinical Commissioning Group


World Diabetes Day Highlights an Increasing Risk To Health

14 November 2017

News graphic

Here in the UK, it is estimated that 4.5 million people are living withdiabetes, and that around 700 people are diagnosed with the disease every day.That’s the equivalent of one person every two minutes.


These are some of the worrying statistics being promoted as part of thisyear’s World Diabetes Day on 14 November 2017.


Healthier You: the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme, launched in Lutonin May 2017 across Luton and Bedfordshire. It aims to  help people at high risk of developing Type 2diabetes, identified through a blood test with their GP practice, to avoid thepotentially devastating disease. So far, more than 3,500 people have beenreferred on to the programme, available free-of-charge on the NHS.


Its sessions cover nutrition, exercise and suggested behavioural changesto maintain a healthy weight and become more physically active. The programmeis delivered in the region by health specialist Ingeus and is commissioned byNHS England.


Type 2 diabetes usually appears in middle-aged orolder people, although it is increasingly being diagnosed in younger overweightpeople. It occurs when the body is not controlling blood sugars properly,usually because it is not responding well to the insulin it is making. This isoften related to excess weight as fat tissue tends to reduce the body’ssensitivity to insulin.


But, as Luton man Raj Rajnikant is discovering, lifestylechanges can effectively reduce the risk of developing diabetes and reduce highblood sugars. The 65-year-old retired machine operator was referred by his GP toHealthier You: the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme in August and said:


“Since retiring in January, I haven’t been as active as when I wasat work all day and the pounds had started to pile on. When my GP identifiedhigh blood glucose levels it was no surprise and I knew that I needed to dosomething proactive to help myself.”


Raj began attending regular Healthier You group sessions atHockwell Ring Community Centre with Ingeus educator Michael Bellamy.


“It was really good meeting people in a similar situation andMichael’s support has already paid off,” continues Raj. “I’ve lost fivekilograms and my blood sugar level has returned to a normal level. The sessionshave really helped, we’ve covered elements of food preparation, portioncontrol, and how to take simple steps to become more active. I’m lookingforward to continuing the good work.”


Ingeus educator Michael Bellamy said: “It can be challenging tomake changes to your routine but the Healthier You programme gives people theconfidence and inspiration to take control and reduce their risk of developingType 2 diabetes. The rewards are great and can lead to a much healthier life.”


Dr. Chirag Bakhai, Clinical Director for Planned Care for Luton Clinical CommissioningGroup and local GP, said: “Type 2 diabetes is a leading cause of blindness,kidney disease and leg problems requiring amputation. It also roughly doublesthe risk of heart attacks and strokes. Worryingly, more people than ever aredeveloping the condition, despite it being potentially preventable throughregular physical activity and maintaining a healthy weight. On World DiabetesDay, we want to raise awareness of the Healthier You programme and its hands-onsupport to help people avoid type 2 diabetes. It has an extremely importantrole in helping the people of Luton and Beds at high risk of developingdiabetes gain control of their health and wellbeing”


Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme is a jointcommitment from NHS England, Public Health England and Diabetes UK. The servicebecame available in Luton in May 2017 with regular sessions running at HightownCommunity Centre, Hockwell Ring Community Centre, Inspire Sports Town and ChaulEnd Community Centre. In Bedfordshire the sessions are available at Queens ParkCommunity Centre and St Andrews Church in Bedford, Parkside Community Hall,Ampthill, Sandy Sports Centre, The Grove Theatre, Dunstable and The VillageHall, Barton Le Clay.



To assess your own risk of developing diabetes, use the DiabetesUK Know Your Risk tool at or,if you are aged between 40 and 75 years without any known cardiovasculardisease, accept your five-yearly invitation for a free NHS Health Check.


For more information about Healthier You: NHS Diabetes PreventionProgramme please ask your GP practice or visit



Notes to Editors:


About the Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme (NHS DPP)


Around 90% of diabetes casesrelate to Type 2 diabetes, which is largely preventable. Tackling obesity andthe rising costs of treating diabetes and the increasing number of people livingwith it, show why we are right to take action through the launch of theHealthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme - stopping people at high riskfrom developing Type 2 diabetes in the first place.


  • The NHS DPP isrun collaboratively by NHS England, Public Health England and Diabetes UK, wasofficially launched last year with 27 areas covering 26 million people - almosthalf of the country and in June, 13 new areas of the country went live as partof Wave 2 of the programme. As set out in the recently published Next steps onthe NHS Five Year Forward View, the ambition is for the programme to eventuallycover the whole of the country and figures could rise to as many as 200,000referrals of people at high risk of Type 2 diabetes and more than 80,000 peopleon programmes by 2018/19.

  • 44% of attendeeson the NHS DPP are men, a higher proportion from the most deprived versus theleast deprived quintile, and 25% from black, Asian and other minority ethnicgroups.

  • Those referred onto the programme will get tailored, personalised help to reduce risk. This willinclude education on healthy eating and lifestyle choices, reducing weightthrough bespoke physical exercise programmes and portion control, whichtogether have been proven to reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.



View the full list of news stories

Site design and maintenance by CRB Associates