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World Diabetes Day

To mark World Diabetes Day, we are shining a spotlight on the important work being done to address the challenges and inequalities associated with diabetes and obesity in south east London.

Diabetes and obesity are significant national and local challenges, impacting the physical and mental health of our local populations and resulting in significant costs for the south east London system. The most recent National Diabetes Audit identified that more than 94,000 people live with type 2 diabetes in south east London (9% of the population). Prevalence of diabetes and obesity is growing each year:

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There is a huge amount of variation in outcomes across south east London contributing to significant health inequalities and communities experiencing their diabetes in different ways.

To improve outcomes and address inequalities for people living with diabetes and obesity, King’s Health Partners, NHS South East London Clinical Commissioning Group (SEL CCG), and the Health Innovative Network (HIN) are collaborating on the development of a South East London Diabetes and Obesity Delivery Board.

This will be a whole system approach to delivering improvements within our overarching Integrated Care System, with the aim to make south east London the best place in the country for diabetes and obesity prevention, care and treatment. We want to make sure that patients receive the highest quality coordinated care, regardless of where they live or who they are.

The next steps will be for SEL CCG, HIN and King’s Health Partners to agree a vision and model of care for diabetes and obesity services that seeks to bring care as close to home as possible and wrap around the person. Programmes involving healthy eating and physical activity are important to help people manage their illness, however they need to be responsive to an individual’s lifestyle and culture to be most effective.

In the UK, people of African or Caribbean descent are at increased risk of developing type 2 diabeters. King's Health Partners is committed to improving the health of its local African and Caribbean communities, so we are working closely researchers from Kings College London to address challenges these communities face that are associated with diabetes. 

Healthy Eating and Active Lifestyles for Diabetes (HEAL-D) is a culturally tailored diabetes self-management education and support programme for African and Caribbean communities.  HEAL-D was codesigned with people from African and Caribbean communities living with type 2 diabetes, healthcare professionals and community leaders.

The initial feasibility study for HEAL-D was funded by the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) and was so successful that the programme is now being rolled out across south London. This is being supported by the Health Innovation Network and Diabetes Book & Learn, which provides a centralised booking facility for all diabetes education in south London. 

To enable people across south London with diabetes to continue to self-manage and find peer support, all diabetes education has been delivered online since the start of the pandemic. HEAL-D has rapidly adapted to meet this changing demand and recently, the team has been awarded further funding under the National Insights Prioritisation Programme to evaluate the effectiveness of online delivery and support further scale up scale outside of south London. Explore their website to find out more and read the latest news.

 Liked this article? Find out more about the important work King’s Health Partners Diabetes, Endocrinology and Obesity is doing to improve health and wellbeing for people living with diabetes, obesity and endocrine disorders across London, south east England and beyond.