"It was reassuring knowing I wasn’t the only one in this position, since joining the programme I have lost weight and am making better choices with regard to my diet and exercise."
NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme achieving great results in Cornwall
Lindsey is one of 1,151 Cornwall residents to benefit from the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme; a free personalised tailored service for people at risk of type 2 diabetes. The programme provides advice on eating healthily, being more active and losing weight. A lack of exercise, poor diet and being overweight are all risk factors for developing the Type 2 diabetes.
Lindsey is now urging others in Cornwall to check whether they may be at risk of the disease and take action on improving their own health.
Over 1,489 people have already been referred onto the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme in Cornwall, with over 77% taking up the offer.
Nationally, diabetes and its complications cost over £6 billion every year to treat and one in six patients in hospital has diabetes. Around nine out of 10 people with diabetes have Type 2 diabetes which is closely linked to obesity and yet is largely preventable by making simple lifestyle changes around diet, activity levels and weight management.
Lindsey had a routine blood test at her Doctors Surgery which revealed she had higher than expected blood sugar, it was agreed that she would be monitored with future blood tests. Lindsey was then invited to make an appointment with service provider Living Well Taking Control which she did, while at her appointment she joined a group that was due to start. Lindsey is 18 weeks into the group sessions.
Lindsey said “It was reassuring knowing I wasn’t the only one in this position, since joining the programme I have lost weight and am making better choices with regard to my diet and exercise.”
“The sessions at the beginning are very motivational.” When Lindsey first joined the programme she felt less confident and thought that one of the benefits was being in a group environment, sharing experiences and knowing that you’re not the only one going through this. The group were able to share real stories and ideas and discuss the changes they were making over the weeks.
Lindsey said “I have learnt how to make healthier choices, reviewing my diet and what exercise I am doing. I now use the traffic light system when out shopping to ensure I buy healthier foods. I have also cut down on my sugar intake.”
Since completing the first stages of the programme, Lindsey’s confidence has grown and she has become a volunteer for Age UK Cornwall. One of the volunteering roles she covers is to assist the LWTC facilitator with two groups by greeting participants on arrival, making refreshments for the group and joining in with group discussions sharing her experiences.
GPs and other healthcare professionals in the South West are using Diabetes Prevention Week, which starts today, to urge residents to find out if they are at risk and take action to improve their future health.