Let’s get serious about type 2 diabetes in Norfolk and Waveney: Know your risk

30th March 2023

Every two minutes someone finds out that they have type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes can be a very serious health condition that can cause long term health problems.

If you have diabetes, you can be more at risk of developing certain types of cancer. It’s estimated that 20 per cent of cancer patients have diabetes.  It can lead to sight loss, kidney failure, loss of a limb, and makes you at least twice as likely to have a heart attack or stroke. Being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes can have a huge impact on you and your family. Although type 2 diabetes is not always preventable, for many people type 2 diabetes can be prevented through lifestyle changes. Early diagnosis and treatment is crucial to helping you live well with diabetes and avoid long term complications. It is very important for you to understand your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Know your risk of type 2 diabetes

People who are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes may even be eligible for the Healthier You NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme.

Find out if you’re at risk of developing type 2 diabetes by doing any of the following:

  • Answering a few simple questions on the ‘Know Your Risk’ tool at riskscore.diabetes.org.uk
  • Taking up the offer of a free NHS Health Check to assess your risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease (heart disease and stroke) and other conditions such as high blood pressure (available for those aged 40-74)
  • Asking your GP Practice to check if you are at risk.

If you are at high risk your GP Practice can refer you to the Healthier You NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme.  If your GP Practice contacts you to take part in the programme please consider the offer seriously, there is no time limit on agreeing a referral so if you are invited but it is not a good time for you please contact your practice when you are ready.

The Healthier You Diabetes Prevention Programme

The Healthier You NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme is an evidence-based lifestyle change programme that helps prevent type 2 diabetes.

You can choose to do the Healthier You Diabetes Prevention Programme either by attending a face-to-face course or choosing a digital option.

People on the face-to-face course receive support to manage their weight, eat more healthily and be more physically active – which together have been proven to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. 

The digital service offers similar support but through the use of a digital app that will monitor levels of exercise, gives access to health coaches, online peer support groups and the ability to set and monitor goals electronically. 

Research shows the Healthier You NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme has reduced new diagnoses of type 2 diabetes in England, saving thousands of people from the potentially serious consequences of the condition. It cuts the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by more than a third for people completing the programme.

In Norfolk and Waveney, there are 65,000 people living with type 2 diabetes and an additional 77,000 of people who are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Dr Clare Hambling is the Clinical Advisor for Diabetes and Obesity at Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care Board. Dr Hambling advises anyone with a family history of diabetes or who has obesity to check their risk and follow the instructions to contact their general practice for a blood test if their risk is high; riskscore.diabetes.org.uk. 

The results of the blood test will indicate if you are eligible for a referral to the Healthier You Programme. More information about the programme can be found here.

96% of people who took part in the programme reported that the course had helped them to improve their diet and habits. You can read stories of people that have taken part in the programme here.

On average people on the programme in Norfolk and Waveney have lost over 4.5kg in weight.