Being able to bend and tie his shoelaces for the first time in years is just one of the benefits Kevin Enticknap from Shoreham-by-Sea in West Sussex has gained from his short time on Healthier You: the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme (NDPP). Kevin, 63, lost nine pounds in the first four weeks of the programme and says that his ‘life has changed already’. 

A keen mountain biker and boat builder, Kevin, who also works for a building supplies company, was shocked to discover he was in danger of developing Type 2 diabetes after a visit to the doctor discovered high blood sugar levels. Having sadly lost his cousin to a diabetic-related illness, Kevin realised it was time to take preventative action and jumped at the chance to join his local NDPP group in Worthing. 

“I’d always considered myself to be a reasonably fit and active person, but how wrong I was,” said Kevin. “My weight had crept up and I’d never given any thought to the effect of some foods on my body.  

“You never know what to expect from these things but I’ve been really impressed with how informative and non-judgemental the sessions have been. The programme isn't about frightening people, it’s about empowering people to make a difference before it’s too late. Making some very simple changes has had an incredible effect.”

Kevin is just one of 85,000 people at risk of developing diabetes in West Sussex. Over the next nine months he will attend monthly groups continuing to look at the causes and remedies of Type 2 diabetes and offering advice on achieving a healthy weight and becoming more physically active. 70 such courses are currently being delivered by Ingeus across Sussex.

“The information I have received from the course already has made me re-think my lifestyle and wow, what a difference it has made to me both mentally and physically,” concludes Kevin. “The information and guidebooks are easy to understand and our Ingeus educator is very knowledgeable and calming, the time at the sessions flies by.”

Kevin’s group is led by educator Jean Parris-Attfield, one of a team of Ingeus nutritionists and healthcare experts who deliver the programme. She said:

“More than three million people in England already have Type 2 diabetes and that number is rapidly rising. Yet the illness is largely preventable. The Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention programme is making great progress in supporting people like Kevin to understand their risk of developing diabetes and to make the lifestyle changes needed to reduce that risk.”  

Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme is a joint commitment from NHS England, Public Health England and Diabetes UK. Diabetes currently accounts for around 10% of the annual NHS budget; nearly £10 billion a year.