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The Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme (NHS DPP) has been developed collaboratively by NHS England, Public Health England and Diabetes UK, with input from a broad range of other bodies including health care professionals, diabetes specialists, NICE, Local Authorities, clinical commissioning groups, providers of services, and people at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

The programme was launched in March 2015 in seven areas which trialled different models for identifying people known to be at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and helping them to change their lifestyles. Learning was taken from these sites to inform the national programme, which began to roll out in 2016.

Why is the Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme needed?

There are 3.9 million people living with diabetes in the UK.1 This figure has more than doubled since 1996, when there were 1.4 million.2 If current trends persist one in five people will develop Type 2 diabetes by 2025.3


Type 2 diabetes develops when your body can’t produce enough insulin, or when the insulin that is produced doesn’t work properly.


Diabetes can cause serious long-term health problems. It’s the most common cause of vision loss and blindness in people of working age. It is also responsible for most cases of kidney failure and lower limb amputation (other than accidents). People with diabetes are up to five times more likely to develop heart disease or have a stroke than those without diabetes.

One in six of all people in hospital have diabetes – and while that is often not the reason for admission, people with diabetes often need a longer stay in hospital, are more likely to be re admitted and their risk of dying is higher than for those without it.


It’s essential to be diagnosed as early as possible because Type 2 diabetes will get progressively worse if left untreated. Early diagnosis may also reduce the risk of developing complications later on.


The good news is that if you discover you are at risk you can take action yourself as well as get support to help you lower your risk and avoid developing the condition.



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Who is the programme  for?


The Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme is designed for people who are at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.


​Some of the known risk factors can't be changed, but there are others you have control of every day and you can affect your level of risk by the choices you make.


The risk of Type 2 diabetes can be reduced significantly by reducing your weight, increasing the amount of physical activity that you do and improving your diet. Your local Healthier You: NHS DPP service can support you in taking action in all these areas.  


If you are not sure whether or not you are at risk, you can use this Risk Assessment tool to find out.  If the results indicate that you are at high risk of developing diabetes you can ask your GP for a blood test to check your status.


How can I join the programme?

You can access the Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme in the following ways:

  • Your GP or nurse may have told you that you are at a high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes - ask them to refer you to your local Healthier You service


  • You may have discovered in your NHS Health Check that you are at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes - ask the Health Check professional to refer you to your local Healthier You service

  • You may have had your risk assessed at a local event or by using an online assessment tool - if you think you are at a high risk you can ask your practice nurse to arrange the necessary blood tests and if the risk is confirmed you can ask for a referral to your local Healthier You service

Type 2 diabetes risk factors:


  • Your age - you’re more at risk if you’re over 40 and white, or over 25 and African-Caribbean, Black-African, Chinese or South Asian


  • Your family history - you’re two to six times more likely to get Type 2 diabetes if you have a parent, brother, sister or child with diabetes


  • Your ethnicity - you’re more likely to get Type 2 diabetes if you’re Chinese, South Asian, African-Caribbean or Black-African


  • Your weight - you’re more at risk if you’re overweight, especially if you’re large around the middle


  • Your blood pressure - you’re more at risk if you’ve ever had high blood pressure.


You’re also more at risk if:


  • You’ve ever had a heart attack or stroke


  • You’ve ever had schizophrenia, bipolar illness or depression, or if you are receiving treatment with anti-psychotic medication

  • You’re a woman who’s had polycystic ovaries, gestational diabetes, or a baby weighing over 10 pounds

What does the programme offer?


The Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevetion Programme is a behaviour change programme. This means that it focuses on looking at the factors that are increasing your risk of Type 2 diabetes and helping you to develop a plan of behaviour and make lifestyle changes that will reduce, or remove, your risk. This will include things like learning about nutrition and cooking, making healthy food choices and increasing your levels of physical activity.


​We know it can be tough to make changes, but the programme offers you support along the way.  It will enable you to take control of your health, make positive changes, feel better and avoid developing Type 2 diabetes. 

Where is the programme being delivered?


The Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme is being rolled out across England.  It started with 27 'first wave' areas in 2016 offering up to 20,000 places. The plan is for it to roll out across the whole country by 2020 with an expected 100,000 referrals each year after that.​

Living Well Taking Control is the local Healthier You service provider for the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme in the following areas: Birmingham; Bristol; Bury; Cornwall; Dudley; Durham Dales; Easington and Sedgefield; Gloucestershire; Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale; Isles of Scilly; North Durham; North Somerset; Sandwell and West Birmingham; Solihull; South Gloucestershire; Southport and Formby; South Sefton; St Helens, Walsall; and Wolverhampton.  

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