Diabetes is a really important health concern in Norfolk and Waveney, with a high number of people living with the condition.

Our area has one of the largest populations of children and young people with type 1 diabetes, which is an autoimmune condition. We also have high numbers of people living with type 2 diabetes which is associated with lifestyle factors such as obesity and inactivity but also ageing. Very commonly, type 2 diabetes may be prevented or improved by changing your diet and taking more exercise.

Doctor using a blood glucose meterDiabetes worried

To improve diabetes services we are:

  • Offering the National Diabetes Prevention Programme - GPs are identifying people who might go on to develop type 2 diabetes, and referring them specialist support to help to change their lifestyles. 
  • Investigating how we can harness new developments to help people manage their own care.
  • Reviewing diabetes care services - to make sure hospital services, the way young people move to services for adults, and mental health services are delivered.
  • Improving the training and development of healthcare staff, helping them to support patients.
  • Running support projects and education classes for people living with diabetes, and improved links with care homes.

While many people with diabetes live well, others can develop serious long-term complications that affect their health and wellbeing. There is also evidence that not everyone living with diabetes in Norfolk and Waveney receives the same quality of diabetes care.

This is why we have developed a diabetes strategy for the next five years, that will be used across Norfolk and Waveney to co-ordinate the commissioning of care, streamline decision-making processes, and identify areas where care can be improved. Our overall aim is to:

  • Provide high-quality person-centred care
  • Remove variation in the care people receive
  • Make sure everyone living with diabetes can access the care they need

We are also developing integrated care services across Norfolk and Waveney to help people already living with diabetes. As well as supporting individuals to manage their diabetes, we aim to help address concerns they may have with:

  • Emotional wellbeing
  • Diet and exercise
  • Work/education and finances
  • Sexual health
  • Access to transport

More information on diabetes

Eating healthily

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 accounts for just under nine per cent of the annual NHS budget. This is around £8.8 billion a year.

There are currently five million people in England at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. If these trends persist, one in three people will be obese by 2034 and one in 10 will develop Type 2 diabetes. However, evidence 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.

The Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme (NHS DPP) will identify those at high risk and refer them onto a behaviour change programme.

The NHS DPP is a joint commitment from NHS England, Public Health England and Diabetes UK.

NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme

Those referred will get 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 together have been proven to reduce the risk of developing the disease.

There are currently 2.8 million people with Type 2 diabetes in England with around 200,000 new diagnoses every year. While Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented and is not linked to lifestyle, Type 2 diabetes is largely preventable through lifestyle changes.

One in six of all people in hospital have diabetes – while diabetes is often not the reason for admission, they often need a longer stay in hospital, are more likely to be readmitted and their risk of dying is higher.

Do you think you could be at risk?

Finding out your risk of Type 2 diabetes only takes a few minutes. 

It could be the most important thing you do today. Use the diabetes risk tool to find out.

Are you looking for activities in your local area? The Active Norfolk website could help you.

You can view this video about the programme from our YouTube channel. 

Media

Type 2 Diabetes has been in the media recently including the recent document on BBC 2 'Fixing Dad' - you can watch it again on their website.

Share the message

Encourage others to check their risk and raise awareness of the campaign by using the social media graphics and posters below.

Case Studies 

Arvid Jayall

Arvid Jayal, 64 from Salhouse says he feels ‘fantastic’ since joining the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme. Following a routine blood test, Arvid’s GP recommended he join the programme as he was borderline Type 2 diabetic.

As a music and documentary producer, Arvid led a sedentary lifestyle. Following 12 weeks on the programme, Arvid has lost a whopping two stone and 8” from around his waist and has revolutionised his daily routine.

“The thing that impressed me.” Arvid explains; “is that it was based on scientific evidence, the leader could explain to me what I needed to do and why it would work, what the evidence behind it was all about.”

Since beginning the programme Arvid takes his dog out for daily 3 ½ mile walks and undertakes High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT training) for 7 – 10 minutes every day as well as following his diet guidelines of fewer complex sugars and carbohydrates and increased protein.

“Once it is explained you are more mindful of what you are fuelling your body with, it educates you to make the right choices. Since I have lost the weight I have so much energy and this in itself makes me feel so much better.”

Arvid will continue the programme for another six months, learning about mindfulness techniques, the benefit of physical activity and will be encouraged to set goals throughout.

“The leaders were enormously supportive in helping me adapt the changes to my everyday life, if it is involved in your everyday habits then it all becomes second nature – it’s not a diet but a lifestyle choice, I choose life.”

To find out more about the Healthier You, visit the NHS Diabetes Prevention programme

Helen Hams

HelenHams60-year-old Helen Hams from North Norfolk had experienced a number of health issues before beginning the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme. Following two collapses in the summer, and various tests for possible thyroid issues, a blood test revealed a high blood sugar level putting Helen at risk of Type 2 Diabetes and the programme was suggested.

“As a vegetarian, I always felt my diet was pretty healthy but by week three I had a ‘Eureka’ moment and I was able to see what I had been doing wrong for so long!” Helen explains.

Helen owns a number of holiday homes and her day is full cleaning and running around for holiday clients.

“My day to day job is full-on.” Helen explains; “So I could never explain why I appeared to be gaining weight rather than losing it.”

Helen is a part of Suzanne Wilkins, ICS Health and Wellbeing Coach’s, Hoveton and Wroxham group and has just completed the first six weeks of the nine-month programme losing an incredible stone and has lost a dress size.

“Suzanne has been amazing, through her help it has got me and the rest of the group thinking, it has educated and motivated us. I thought I was being really healthy previously eating handfuls of grapes but I’ve learnt that some of the grapes have more sugar than a square of chocolate!”

Current diet:

Mid-Morning: Veggie bacon, tomatoes, new potatoes and mushrooms grilled or cooked in low-calorie spray

Tea: Lettuce, pecan and courgette salad with blue cheese

Snack: Fruit

 
Previous diet:

Mid-morning: Toast or Crumpets with butter

Snacks: Biscuits or a chocolate bar

Tea: Pasta with creamy sauce
 

“I have been on a number of diets over the years but this isn’t a diet, this is a way of living which is scientifically proven and makes sense. I can honestly see this is a way of life.”

Helen has even been educating others including encouraging her local Women’s Institute to have a selection of low and sugar-free options alongside the usual cakes at their regular afternoon tea.

“I have been raving about it to anyone who will listen and all my friends have been taking on board my changes and seeing a difference in themselves and in me.”

“I see this as a great programme helping me to make a difference to my health and prevent me from developing Type 2 Diabetes. It is a win, win, win for all involved!”

To find out more about the Healthier You, visit the NHS Diabetes Prevention programme

Flash glucose monitoring

NHS England (NHSE) published guidance in March 2019 regarding the process for considering Freestyle Libre prescribing.

This link gives details of the eligibility criteria for adults, young people and children 4 years of age and older with diabetes mellitus type 1.

Should a patient fulfil the criteria for funding, which will be reviewed at their next routine specialist appointment, the device and an initial one sensor (14 days) will be provided by the Specialist Diabetes Team. The patient’s GP will then take over prescribing the sensors for a six month period, after which time they will be reviewed by the Specialist Diabetes Team for eligibility for continued funding.

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 accounts for just under nine per cent of the annual NHS budget. This is around £8.8 billion a year.

There are currently five million people in England at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. If these trends persist, one in three people will be obese by 2034 and one in 10 will develop Type 2 diabetes. However, evidence shows that many cases of Type 2 diabetes are preventable.

We can stop it - most people can avoid it

There is strong international evidence that if we have a healthy weight and be more active, we can significantly reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.


The Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme (NHS DPP) will identify people at high risk and help them change the way they live to avoid Type 2 diabetes.

People referred will get help on healthy eating and lifestyle, help to lose weight and bespoke physical exercise programmes, all of which together have been proven to reduce the risk of developing the disease.

While Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented and is not linked to lifestyle, Type 2 diabetes is largely preventable through lifestyle changes.

                                                            

DDiabetes over 40o you think you could be at risk?

Finding out your risk of Type 2 diabetes only takes a few minutes. It could be the most important thing you do today. Use the diabetes risk tool to find out.

 

 

Share the message

Encourage your family and friends to check their risk and raise awareness of the campaign.

Ask your doctor if you are worried - he or she can refer you to the Diabetes Prevention Programme if you need it.