Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Councillor Casts Doubt on Plan to Reduce Diabetes

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Councillor Casts Doubt on Plan to Reduce Diabetes

Article excerpt

Byline: ALEX METCALFE Local democracy reporter alex.metcalfe@reachplc.com @Mecs_LDR

EFFORTS to slow the onset of diabetes on Teesside have been criticised by a councillor with the condition.

The NHS has rolled out a national programme to reduce the growth of preventable Type 2 diabetes and the health complications that come with it.

The scheme, led by NHS England, Public Health and Diabetes UK, aims to encourage weight loss, get people eating better and get Teessiders moving.

Services firm Ingeus was commissioned to run the programme by signing up adults with higher than normal blood sugar levels to increase exercise levels and improve their eating.

But Cllr Jim Beall had his doubts and wanted to know more about the "success rates" of the scheme and whether anyone had "fallen back".

Cllr Jim "I am not a fan of big national programmes where a big national company gets a major contract driven by a financial reward system often with perverse outcomes," he said.

"I think they tend to get fixated on one model of delivery and a one size fits all approach."

Members of Tuesday's health and wellbeing board in Stockton were told how there had been 512 referrals to the programme from the borough between April and November last year - with 205 people deciding to take part.

The cabinet member for health believed the best way to tackle diabetes was "at a local level" but conceded this service was now the model in place.

Cllr Beall added: "I am sceptical about it. I hope you prove me wrong but I am not very optimistic about this approach to tackling this very important issue."

Panellists were told how people had to sign up to the scheme via their GP to find out if they fit the criteria.

We are remaining to make sure on board don't Karen Eastwood, from North of England Commissioning Support (NECS), explained how having to refer people via a practice could be a barrier to getting numbers booked in.

But she said this was "being worked on". …

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