Evaluation shows positive impact of Health Trainers on diabetes prevention

The CLAHRC for Greater Manchester has been supporting Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Trust in applying and translating the existing research evidence to find a community-based service model for type 2 diabetes prevention.

The NHS is facing a growing challenge in treating the number of people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and meeting the associated costs, and the Impaired Glucose Tolerance Health Trainer service offers behaviour change support and lifestyle advice to people who are at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

The Health Trainer workforce in England has been developed over the last seven years in a unique collaboration between the national team at the Department of Health, regional teams and local services. They were introduced to offer personalised, face-to-face lifestyle and behaviour change support to people at risk of developing cardiovascular disease, mainly focusing on deprived communities. They support and motivate people along the behaviour change journey by helping them to identify which lifestyle choices put them at risk of developing cardiovascular diseases and which positive changes they could make to reduce their risk.

The pilot project in Wigan started in January 2011 and lasted until the end of January 2013. The evaluation of the project has now been completed and the results are extremely positive:

  • 85 per cent of Health Trainer participants achieved their set goals
  • 74 per cent lost weight
  • 71 per cent increased their daily consumption of fruit and vegetables
  • 49 per cent increased the number of moderate exercise sessions they did per week
  • Following their first appointment, 94 per cent decided to make changes to their lifestyle
  • Participant feedback on the service was only positive, with 88 per cent rating the service as ‘very good’ and 12 per cent rating the service as ‘good’.

For more information about the evaluation and a full overview of the project’s results please read the full report.