Patients with Type 2 diabetes in Portsmouth, South East Hampshire, Fareham and Gosport will get access to Our Path, a new online ‘lifestyle change’ programme thanks to a partnership between local CCGs, a diabetes charity and the NHS.
The fact is that currently uptake of people turning up to get advice from services in person (such as attend an education course held at a hospital) is low, around 14%. Many who may be motivated to make a change to their lifestyles simply cannot give up the time to attend. This new approach uses technology to reach them. The Solent Diabetes Association, a prominent local diabetes charity, has funded this project to provide an online lifestyle change programme to 150 patients across the three CCGs.
Patients are referred to take part in the three-month Our Path programme to build healthier habits, receiving a ‘health box’ in the post containing an activity tracker, wireless weighing scales, recipe book and a handbook. These physical elements are connected to the Our Path smartphone app, enabling patients to track improvements in their weight, steps and sleep. Online groups of up to 10 people are guided through the programme’s nutritional advice and educational content by a dedicated health-coach.
Patients that complete the programme can potentially reduce their diabetes medication, average blood sugar levels, increase their physical activity, food confidence, well-being and achieve weight loss.
Partha Kar, Consultant in Diabetes & Endocrinology at Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust says: “This is a fabulous example of a local charity joining hands with the NHS to try and deliver care in a modern setting. We look forward to its progress and most importantly results- to help us design care for the local population in the future.”
Professor Ken Shaw, Medical Advisor and Co-Director of the Solent Diabetes Association adds, “Maintaining motivation of the necessary lifestyle adjustment for optimal management of Type 2 diabetes is never easy, but with this modern and innovative approach, using the latest educational benefits of social media communication, implementing a friendly ‘nudge’ factor, we feel confident this programme will provide significant dividend for people tackling their daily diabetes discipline.”
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