North London Partners in health and care

Diabetes Prevention Programme moves support online


North London Partners is committed to increasing referrals to the Diabetes Prevention Programme and providing patients at risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes with the opportunity of accessing support in the forms of phone coaching sessions and online peer forums, during the Covid-19 pandemic

ICS Health & Wellbeing, commissioned to deliver the prevention programme, has developed a range of online resources in order to continue to deliver its behaviour change programme which it provided using face-to-face support before the lockdown.

General Practices can refer patients at risk to the programme via two methods. If a person is eligible for the programme, the referral can be completed by a healthcare professional by filling in the referral form which is embedded into the clinical system (EMIS) and is then sent to a secure email to be processed by the programme team. For more information go to the website Are you a referrer in North Central London?

Alternatively, patients can self-refer to the programme, but will require their NHS number and either a Hba1c or FPG blood measurement test result taken within 24 months (and have a note of the date the test has been carried out) provided by the practice either over the phone or by letter.

Self-referrals can then be made on our website https://preventing-diabetes.co.uk/self-referral/      

Eligibility criteria for the programme includes; being aged 18 years or over, having a hba1c between 42-47 mmol/mol or FPG reading between 5.5-6.9 within the last 24 months, not be pregnant and able to take part in light/moderate physical activity.

At a time of lockdown when the mental challenges could result in the possible neglect of people's physical health, patients have welcomed the online support.  One said: "It's much easier to be able to commit over the phone to attending the sessions. It's so nice to hear the support to keep us on the right track." Another said simply: "It's something to focus on during lockdown."

Diabetes has a significant impact on morbidity (leading to stroke and heart attack) and pre-mature mortality. In addition people with diabetes are at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

Type 2 diabetes is largely preventable. In north central London there are an estimated 125,000 people with pre-diabetes who could benefit from the diabetes prevention programme. A key focus of the programme is to improve access to the service to address diabetes-related health inequalities. Priority groups for diabetes prevention locally include those at higher risk of diabetes e.g. people living in areas of high deprivation, men and BAME groups (such as South Asian).