NHS North Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is expanding a type 2 diabetes education programme throughout North Tyneside after it proved effective with patients.

The CCG appointed Spirit Healthcare to deliver a structured diabetes education (SDE) programme for patients newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in August 2017, with a view of increasing attendance to self-management education courses.

The programme includes face-to-face consultations between diabetes patients and healthcare professionals as well as access to an online resource called Map my Diabetes, designed to provide an ongoing source of support and educational resource for patients.

Called Empower, the initiative has now been expanded to include all patients in North Tyneside with type 2 diabetes, regardless of when they were diagnosed. The decision to expand the service was made after Empower showed to deliver SDE uptake rates of more than 45%.

Dr Richard Scott, clinical chair of NHS North Tyneside CCG said: “Unlike type 1 diabetes, which is not linked to lifestyle, type 2 diabetes can be managed and even prevented through adopting healthy lifestyles. This is why it is so important that we are able to support people who have the condition to manage it well so that they can live long and healthy lives.

“Our aim is to help people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes better understand their condition and to feel happier and healthier in managing it themselves.”

One of NHS England’s stated objectives in its Shared Planning Guidance for 2017-2019 is to increase referrals and attendance levels of diabetes education programmes.

The organisation is currently engaged in a large-scale initiative to uncover new ways of tackling type 2 diabetes and supporting those at risk of developing the disease.

To improve accessibility to the service, patients will now be able to self-refer and book themselves onto the Empower programme via an online portal.

Gill Peck, Empower clinical lead at Spirit Healthcare, added: “We are delighted with the success seen by North Tyneside CCG since appointing Spirit. Our aim is to make the nation happier and healthier, giving patients the confidence they need to help them manage their condition and live a healthier life.

“Patients have thoroughly enjoyed the course and importantly have seen positive outcomes as a result. Notably, the course has received an astounding 100% Friends and Family Test (FFT) score.”