A NATIONAL programme to tackle type 2 diabetes is using the techniques perfected during a Bradford initiative.

It is estimated that over 11,000 people in Bradford are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes over the next decade.

Recent years have seen a number of schemes to help tackle the issue - one of the biggest health problems in the district.

GPs and other healthcare professionals in Bradford are using Diabetes Prevention Week, which started yesterday, to urge residents to find out if they are at risk and take action to improve their health.

The district has already seen a number of initiatives to deal with the condition.

NHS Bradford City and NHS Bradford Districts Clinical Commissioning Groups set up the pilot Bradford Beating Diabetes initiative in 2013. It identified over 54,000 people who were at risk, before contacting them to invite them for diabetes risk assessments at their local practice. BBD then provided access to one-to-one coaching and group education sessions on how to reduce risk.

The initiative led to 28,000 people attending a diabetes risk assessment and over 2,400 people referred to a training course on making lifestyle changes to reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

The successes of the project have since been used as part of the development of a national initiative – the National Diabetes Prevention Programme – which is being rolled out across the country.

The NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme is a free local service for those who are at risk of type 2 diabetes. Like BBD, the programme is designed to stop or delay the onset of the disease through a number of lifestyle interventions, including education on lifestyle choices, advice on how to reduce weight through healthier eating and bespoke physical activity programmes. Since October over 1,200 people have already been referred onto the programme in Bradford, with over 40 per cent taking up the offer.

Dr Waqas Tahir, local GP and chair of the NDPP working group coordinated by NHS Bradford City and Bradford Districts CCGs said: “For some time, diabetes has been one of the biggest health challenges we face in Bradford. This is why we launched Bradford Beating Diabetes; to identify those who had not been diagnosed so they could receive appropriate treatment to manage their condition, and to identify those at risk so they could be supported to prevent the onset of the disease. I’m delighted that what we learned from BBD has been used to build a national initiative and that similar lifestyle courses will now be available to people across the country.”