The area has been chosen to take part in a pioneering national NHS prevention programme next year which will see people offered education and lifestyle coaching to reduce their risk of Type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes can lead to serious health issues including amputation, blindness and kidney failure. In some cases people with the condition can develop life-threatening complications such as heart disease. It is estimated that diabetes costs the NHS around £10 billion a year.
Dr Viv Harrison, Consultant in Public Health at Bristol City Council, said: "It is great news that the NHS Diabetes prevention programme will be running in the area as the evidence shows us that supporting people to make lifestyle changes can significantly reduce their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Plans are currently being developed and we hope that people will begin to benefit from next summer.”
The area is one of 13 across the country that have been selected to take part in a further roll-out of the Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme – the world’s first nationwide programme to help stop people developing type 2 diabetes.
The programme will support 100,000 people a year across the whole country by 2020 through tailored, personalised help to reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes including education on healthy eating and lifestyle, help to lose weight and bespoke physical exercise programmes, all of which have been proven to reduce the risk of developing the disease.
Alison Moon, the lead for diabetes at Bristol Clinical Commissioning Group said: "The organisations responsible for health care locally are keen to focus on preventative measures to help people live well and avoid diabetes and other life-limiting conditions wherever possible. This approach makes sense for the health system, which continues to face increasing financial pressures, but more importantly it is good for the health of local people."
Council and clinical commissioning groups in the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire areas will continue to work collaboratively in the new year to develop a programme of support to tackle diabetes. This is expected to be launched in the spring of 2017, and further announcements about the detail will be made in due course. In the meantime, anyone worried about the risk of diabetes and what they can do to reduce their risk can find out more at www.nhs.uk/diabetes which includes a tool to help people assess their own level of risk.