Type 2 diabetes is a major public health challenge and, since 2010, Health Exchange has been developing a programme aimed at supporting individiduals to make healthier lifestyle choices in order to either avoid developing it or manage it more effectively.
In March 2013 Health Exchange joined forces with Exeter-based charity Westbank Community Health and Care to deliver the programme, called Living Well Taking Control, to people in Birmingham and Exeter identified as being at risk of developing, or recently diagnosed with, Type 2 diabetes. Keen to ensure effective evaluation of this education and support programme, this partnership also worked with a number of Universities including Exeter, Bristol and Birmingham to evidence the value and benefits of the service to service-users.
An independent Randomised Control Trial (RTC) is now in its final stages with the University of West England and the results are due to be published shortly. Early indications show that the programme is a cost effective solution to reducing the incidence of Type 2 diabetes and associated conditions and risk factors. Participants report feeling involved in the programme and that the peer support of the group interaction helps and supports them to change health risk behaviour and also maintain sustained support.
Having demonstrated significant positive results, the development phase of our programme helped to inform the evidence base underpinning the new Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme. Living Well Taking Control is now a Limited Liability Partnership, selected as one of four national providers to deliver the Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme across England.