Public Health Wales announces new prevention programme targeting type 2 diabetes
Public Health Wales has unveiled a new brief intervention scheme which is to be rolled out across Wales to prevent type 2 diabetes following successful pilot studies.
A report was published this week outlining the All Wales Diabetes Prevention Programme (AWDPP).
The Welsh Government announced funding in March 2021 for the AWDPP, which was led by Public Health Wales (PHW).
Wales has not had a national diabetes prevention programme until now, unlike Scotland and England, and this programme aims to provide an effective standard approach across the country.
PHW says the national programme will be part of the Healthy Weight, Healthy Wales Delivery Plan and will enable healthcare practitioners to work with people who have been identified as being at an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
The AWDPP builds on approaches that were piloted and evaluated in two separate primary care settings in Afan Valley and North Ceredigion.
In these pilots, patients with non-diabetic hyperglycaemia (HbA1c) received a single, face-to-face 30-minute brief intervention with a trained healthcare professional.
The sessions focus on understanding the risk of developing diabetes, the benefits of dietary changes and increasing levels of physical activity.
Participating patients were also referred, where appropriate, to services such as the National Exercise Referral Scheme (NERS) and the Foodwise for Life community weight management programme.
Reviews of the patients after one year showed a reduction of risk factors, and 14 of the 16 practices involved in the pilot work reported significantly fewer patients being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
According to the report, evaluations of both pilot schemes show the approach is effective in reducing the risk of diabetes and also represents good value for money.
The report highlights that as of 2020, 8% of the population of Wales aged 17 years and over live with diabetes, of which around 90% have T2D.
With obesity on the increase in Wales, it is estimated that as many as 580,000 people in Wales could be at risk of developing T2D.
The majority of T2D diagnoses are preventable by tackling weight and lifestyle.
Managing diabetes and its complications has a considerable impact on healthcare services and accounts for 10% of the annual NHS Wales budget.
Dr Amrita Jesurasa, Consultant in Public Health Medicine at Public Health Wales, said: “I’d like to thank the professionals from across disciplines in Wales who have worked with us to review and refine each element of the intervention design.
“This work has allowed us to align the AWDPP with NICE guidance, the All Wales Weight Management Pathway, Prudent healthcare principles and behavioural science, to maximise its effectiveness.”
Zoe Wallace, Director of Primary Care at Public Health Wales, said: “The development of the AWDPP presents an exciting opportunity for primary care, dietetics and public health to work collaboratively to reduce the burden of disease from type 2 diabetes and to support more people in Wales to live well for longer.”