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Researchers launch study of world’s first national diabetes prevention programme

Date: 06 October 2017

The University of Manchester and National Institute for Health Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care Greater Manchester (NIHR CLAHRC GM) have been appointed to undertake an evaluation research study of the national rollout of the Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme (NHS DPP).  

The NHS DPP is a collaboration between NHS England, Public Health England and Diabetes UK and aims to prevent or delay onset of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) in those at high risk across England.

While Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented and is not linked to lifestyle, Type 2 diabetes is largely preventable through lifestyle changes.  There are currently five million people in England at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, and if these trends persist, one in three people will be obese and one in 10 will develop Type 2 diabetes by 2034.

The NHS DPP, which aims to identify those at high risk and refer them onto a behaviour change programme, started in 2016 with a first wave of 27 areas covering 26 million people, half of the population, and making up to 20,000 places available. It will rollout to the whole country by 2020, with an expected 100,000 referrals available each year after.

The NIHR evaluation research study, known as ‘DIPLOMA (Diabetes Prevention - Long term Multimethod Assessment), will be carried out by a multidisciplinary team of researchers at the university and project managed by NIHR CLAHRC GM.  It will provide a rigorous assessment of the success of the NHS DPP in meeting the aim of reducing Type 2 diabetes incidence in a way that is cost-effective and sustainable, and provide evidence to inform the ongoing development and quality improvement of the programme.  

It will investigate implementation of the NHS DPP across the country, access and equality, service delivery and fidelity, outcomes and variations, comparative effectiveness and comparative long-term effectiveness compared to usual care in terms of long-term costs and benefits.

Professor Matt Sutton, Centre Lead for the Manchester Centre for Health Economics, said: “The NHS DPP is a large national programme attempting to deliver those benefits ‘at-scale’.  We’re very pleased that the University of Manchester has been selected to provide a robust evaluation, using our great strengths in health services research.”

More information on the study is available on the NIHR Journals Library.