Around one in 20 people in Eastern Cheshire has diabetes – and the number is rising all the time.

To make matters worse, more than 90 per cent of people with diabetes have the type 2 condition, which is almost entirely preventable through lifestyle choices.

That’s why the CCG has chosen continuous improvement in diabetes services as a key programme of work, and has agreed a target to reduce emergency hospital admissions for diabetes-related conditions.

I’m delighted, therefore, that the CCG has been accepted into the first wave of the Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme. Intended for people at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes, the programme offers tailored education on healthy eating and lifestyle, losing weight and physical exercise.

The nine-month intervention starts with a one-hour one-to-one, followed by a series of group sessions.

Progress is reviewed individually every three months with a health and wellbeing coach.

People can be referred to the programme by their GP or practice nurse, or following an NHS Health Check.

Every year, type 2 diabetes costs the NHS £8.8bn or almost 10 per cent of its budget. It also causes around 22,000 early deaths in England every year. If current trends persist, 70 per cent of people will be overweight or obese in 20 years’ time and one in 10 of us will have type 2 diabetes.

Symptoms of diabetes include:

Feeling very thirsty

Urinating more often than usual, especially at night

Feeling very tired

Weight loss and loss of muscle bulk

Itching around the penis or vagina, or frequent episodes of thrush

Cuts or wounds that heal slowly

Blurred vision.

You should see your GP if you have been experiencing most of these symptoms for more than a couple of weeks.

For more information on the Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme, visit .