Thank you for contacting me about diabetes.
Diabetes is a leading cause of premature mortality. With over 22,000 additional deaths each year, it doubles an individual’s risk of cardiovascular disease and costs over £10 billion every year to manage.
Prevention is crucial to tackling type 2 diabetes, so I’m delighted that prevention is at the heart of the NHS Long Term Plan (LTP), launched in 2019. One of the key commitments in the LTP is to double, to 200,000 people per year, the scale of the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme which supports those identified as high risk of type 2 diabetes to reduce their risk. This programme has already helped 90,000 people whow were at risk lose a combined weight of 407,697 pounds.
Further, medical research has shown that some people with type 2 diabetes can achieve remission through adoption of low calorie diets and is a non-invasive treatment allowing people with type 2 diabetes to tackle their diabetes as part of leading healthier lives. I warmly welcome the inclusion in the LTP pioneering plans to test an NHS programme of low calorie diets for overweight people with type 2 diabetes.
There is more work to be done to improve the treatment and care of those diagnosed with diabetes and I welcome that £44 million of transformation funding is being invested to achieve this. So far over £11 million of this funding has been spent on increasing the uptake of structured education courses, which will help those with diabetes to better self-manage their condition. Almost £10 million has been invested to provide better access for diabetics to foot care teams, in order to reduce the number of amputations necessary.
I know that Diabetes has emerged as a significant risk factor for patients with coronavirus, and that the NHS is strongly encouraging patients with Diabetes to manage their condition using a dedicated helpline and online tools throughout the outbreak. These tools form part of the diabetes prevention programme, but are more useful than ever while people with Diabetes are at greater risk of infection. While this is worrying news, the NHS is available to anybody with concerns, and I urge people to make contact with their medical teams if they need additional support or if they have any further questions.
I hope this reassures you that the Government is committed to tackling diabetes as well as supporting those living with it to lead healthier lives.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
EDWARD LEIGH MP