NHS launching 'life-changing' new soup and shake diets for Milton Keynes patients

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Patients in Milton Keynes are now able to access NHS soup and shake weight-loss plans to tackle type 2 diabetes.

The very-low-calorie diet and lifestyle plans have been shown to put Type 2 diabetes into remission for people recently diagnosed with the condition, and will now be provided to 5,000 more patients in 10 areas including Milton Keynes as the next stage in an NHS drive to increase access to the life-changing programme.

Diabetes is estimated to cost the NHS £10 billion a year, while almost one in 20 prescriptions written by GPs is for diabetes treatment.

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The year-long plans will see those who could benefit provided with ‘total diet replacement products’, such as specially formulated low calorie shakes and soups, for three months, alongside support to increase their exercise levels.

Type 2 diabetes cost the NHS an estimated £10bn per yearType 2 diabetes cost the NHS an estimated £10bn per year
Type 2 diabetes cost the NHS an estimated £10bn per year

To help people maintain a healthy lifestyle and avoid complications linked to obesity patients will also be offered managed plans for reintroducing ordinary, nutritious food, with ongoing support from clinicians and coaches after that.

Results from one trial showed almost half of those who went on the reduced calorie diet achieved remission of their Type 2 diabetes after one year.

NHS research earlier this year revealed people with Type 2 diabetes are two times more at risk of dying from coronavirus.

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A further study published last week by the University of North Carolina found that people with obesity are 113% more likely to be admitted to hospital with coronavirus and 74% more likely to need intensive care treatment.

As well as helping individuals lead happier and healthier lives, enhanced action on obesity and diabetes is also expected to save the NHS money and free up staff time.

Dr Nashat Qamar, GP Lead for the pilot scheme elsewhere in the country, said: “We are excited to be selected as one of the pilot sites for the Low-Calorie Diet which gives our patients the opportunity to participate in an evidence-based intervention aimed at reversing diabetes and sustained weight loss.

“There has never been a more important time for people to lose weight and put their Type 2 diabetes into remission, so it’s good news for patients in the Midlands that practical measures like this are increasingly available on the NHS.”

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Sites across the country, including right here in MK, will test evidence from the original trials in a ‘real world’ implementation during a 12-month treatment course.

People living with Type 2 diabetes who have been diagnosed with the condition in the last six years will be considered for the pilots.

Individuals must also meet other eligibility criteria to be referred to the service to ensure the programme is right for them.

The interventions will provide low-calorie Total Diet Replacement products alongside virtual one-to-ones, group sessions and digital support.