Most people would be shocked to know that around 22,000 people with diabetes die early every year.  Type 2 diabetes is a leading cause of preventable sight loss in people of working age and is a major contributor to kidney failure, heart attack and stroke.  As well as the human cost, Type 2 diabetes treatment currently accounts for just under nine per cent of the annual NHS budget.  This is around £8.8 billion a year.

There are currently 5 million people in England at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.  If current trends persist, one in three people will be obese by 2034 and one in ten will develop Type 2 diabetes.  However, evidence exists which shows that many cases of Type 2 diabetes are preventable.

There is also strong international evidence which demonstrates how behavioural interventions, which support people to maintain a healthy weight and be more active, can significantly reduce the risk of developing the condition.

National roll out

NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme will start this year with a first wave of 27 areas covering 26 million people, half of the population, and making up to 20,000 places available.

This will roll out to the whole country by 2020 with an expected 100,000 referrals available each year after.