Making big changes to your lifestyle, whether that’s quitting smoking, being more active, or adopting a healthier diet, isn’t always easy. In the last 12 months, Newcastle resident Stephen Kirkland has managed all three. With a HbA1c level of 67, Stephen was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, and decided 2017 was the year he needed to take control of his health.
His GP enlisted Changing Health to help him make that happen. And in just three months, he’s seen incredible results. “I wanted to get my diabetes under control,” he says. “I didn’t consider myself massively overweight, but I knew my BMI was higher than it should be. I didn’t want to go on diabetes meds – I just wanted to make a change.”
Stephen scheduled regular phone appointments with Kirsten Ashley, one of Changing Health’s expert behavioural change coaches, to help him work out the best diet and exercise plan for his circumstances.
“It was nice to have Kirsten showing such an interest. She was always giving me new ideas, tips, regular contact to make sure I was on track – it was a great support mechanism. I’ve made some serious changes: lots more exercise. I was conscious I wasn’t getting enough with work, what with long hours sat at a desk.
“Now I’m taking long walks, especially at the weekends, making a point of walking to places like the supermarket rather than driving. I’m climbing the stairs when I get home – and I live on the fourteenth floor! It takes a good five minutes, but you just have to put your mind to it.
“Kirsten sent me some quite strenuous short-period exercises. I told her I’m usually working away from home, and I don’t like to be bouncing around in the digs! So she didn’t push me on that. Instead I’m getting more exercise spending time with my son – cycling and swimming.”
Stephen put the Changing Health app to good use too. “It’s helpful to keep a diary of your meals – I could show Kirsten the photos of what I was eating and how big my portions were. She could see the number of steps I was doing per day too.”
Twelve weeks on, it was time for a visit to the GP to assess his progress. There was excellent news. Stephen has reduced his blood glucose (HbA1c) from 67, on the way to severe Type 2 diabetes and likely complications, to just 48 – a sliver above returning to the pre-diabetes stage.
He won’t be leaving it there. “I’m definitely keeping this lifestyle up to get my blood sugar down to prediabetes levels. Hopefully, in the future, I’ll be able to put the diabetes into remission.”
“The Changing Health experience was all very positive. If I’d known I could take up the programme earlier, I’d have jumped at it!”
Meet Stephen’s behavioural change coach Kirsten Ashley on our team page.
Changing Health, the service transforming digital education and support for people with Type 2 diabetes, has partnered with Ascensia Diabetes Care to combine cutting edge behavioural change programmes and a state-of-the-art diabetes management solution.
The collaboration empowers people with Type 2 diabetes to take control of their health, make lasting lifestyle changes and monitor their diabetes in real time, with three months of free access to the Changing Health programme and a free CONTOUR® NEXT ONE blood glucose meter and test strips.
Changing Health users benefit from one-to-one telephone coaching sessions with professionally trained health coaches, along with an app incorporating the most effective evidence-based diabetes education available.
The remarkably accurate CONTOUR®NEXT ONE blood glucose meter seamlessly connects with the CONTOUR®DIABETES app, providing a self-management solution for people living with diabetes that enables them to better understand and manage their diabetes.
John Grumitt, Changing Health Chief Executive, said: “We’re excited to be teaming up with one of the global market leaders in diabetes management solutions to offer a new, accessible way to take control of diabetes. Combining high-impact behaviour change support with highly accurate blood glucose monitoring makes diabetes management simpler. People with diabetes can better control their condition through positive lifestyle changes, while gaining instant feedback on whether their blood glucose is on, above or below target.”
Ros Barker, Country Head UK & Ireland for Ascensia Diabetes Care, said: “Coaching and education are a key part of managing type 2 diabetes. They can help individuals to better understand their condition and provide personalised feedback to improve self-management. We are delighted to be collaborating with a pioneering company in this field. The programme from Changing Health is based on robust behavioural science and is designed to support and empower people with diabetes. Using these services alongside our highly accurate blood glucose meter has the potential to help people manage their diabetes in a better and easier way.”
Changing Health and Ascensia are offering 200 free CONTOUR® NEXT ONE blood glucose meters along with three months of access to the Changing Health lifestyle behaviour change coaching programme in a prize draw. To enter the draw, visit www.changinghealth.com/offer
Notes to editors
Director of Marketing and Communications
07766 107 219 / email@example.com
John Grumitt and the Changing Health behavioural change coaches are available for interview. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange this.
About Changing Health
Changing Health empowers people with Type 2 diabetes, risk of diabetes and weight management issues to make lasting lifestyle changes.
Based on eight years of research from some of the UK’s leading health and lifestyle academics, our behavioural change programmes give participants the knowledge and tools to lose an average of 7.4kg over 12 weeks. Some people become free of their diabetes and can stop taking medications entirely.
Users benefit from personalised one-to-one telephone support from professionally trained health coaches, using proven behaviour change techniques. They're scheduled at any time to suit, six days a week, and combined with an app incorporating the most effective evidence-based diabetes education available.
The programmes can be customised to meet the needs of individual patients. They allow healthcare providers to deliver successful behaviour change solutions at scale, at a lower cost than face-to-face education, and on budget and provide key data for monitoring and measuring patient outcomes.
Ascensia Diabetes Care is a global specialist diabetes care company, dedicated to helping people living with diabetes. Our mission is to empower people living with diabetes through innovative solutions that simplify and improve their lives. We use our innovation and specialist expertise in diabetes to develop high quality solutions and tools that make a positive, daily difference for people with diabetes.
Home to the world renowned CONTOUR™ portfolio of blood glucose monitoring systems, our products combine advanced technology with user-friendly functionality that help people with diabetes to manage their condition. We are committed to continued research, innovation and development of new products and solutions. As a trusted partner in the diabetes community, we collaborate closely with healthcare professionals and other partners to ensure our products meet the highest standards of accuracy, precision and reliability, and that we conduct our business compliantly and with integrity.
Ascensia Diabetes Care was established in 2016 through the sale of Bayer Diabetes Care to Panasonic Healthcare Holdings Co., Ltd. Ascensia Diabetes Care products are sold in more than 125 countries. Ascensia Diabetes Care has around 1,700 employees and operations in 38 countries.
For further information please visit the Ascensia Diabetes Care website at: http://www.ascensia.com.
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There’s been much talk in the media of an NHS stretched to its very limits over recent weeks. Chief among the concerns is a lack of beds; inpatient admissions are rising year on year with the usual influx of extra admissions in winter.
As a result, non-urgent treatment for more than 50,000 patients has been postponed and A&E departments in dozens of hospitals are struggling to cope. On December 11, according to The Times, 18 large hospitals in 12 NHS trusts across England didn’t have a single bed available.
This is in part down to an ageing population, but it’s a problem compounded by rapidly rising incidences of Type 2 diabetes.
Secondary care for people with diabetes accounts for a disproportionately high strain on health economies through the UK. Around one of every 16 sixteen people is estimated to have diabetes in the UK, but people with diabetes occupy one in six of all hospital beds. That inpatient care amounts to £2.3-2.5 billion per year of NHS expenditure.
People with diabetes attend hospital more often and be treated for longer than the general population too. Research from Insight Health Economics suggests that of the £2.3-2.5 billion expenditure on inpatient care for people with diabetes, £573-686 million is over and above the sum spent on a population of the same age and gender without the condition.
So, how can we tackle the problem? By helping people to better manage their diabetes and head off preventable complications before they arise. Individuals and health economies alike would benefit immeasurably; the UK Prospective Diabetes Study (UKPDS) showed that a mean reduction in HbA1c reduction of just 0.7% delivers a 37% fall in microvascular complications, a 43% in amputations, a 14% reduction in heart attacks, 12% fewer strokes and a 22% reduction in deaths.
It’s important to remember that helping people to better manage Type 2 diabetes is not about developing and prescribing expensive medications. It’s a question of empowerment. Empowering people with the knowledge and the motivation to make positive, lasting changes to their lifestyles and take control of their health.
The traditional, reactionary model of patients turning up, being told off, being treated, told to “do better” and being sent home, is not working. Instead, the NHS must adopt more innovative solutions to educate people with diabetes on glycaemic control, BMI, finding the right diet and getting the most out of exercise.
New, digital solutions combine one-to-one sessions with expert behavioural change coaches and evidence-based education, giving patients the tools to transform their lifestyles by themselves. Behaviour change techniques rooted in behavioural psychology can help patients set clear, achievable goals and realistic timelines, while the ability to access digital education any time, anywhere boosts engagement levels and delivers value for money.
The investment required is minimal compared with the potential gains. If we assume the NHS budget is £100bn and a solution costs, say, £100,000 per CCG, the total NHS expenditure for all 209 CCGs would be £20.9 million – 0.02% of the total budget.
If a solution can deliver on the promised clinical outcomes, it would likely pay for itself - and in many areas, deliver significant cost-savings on top - through substantial reductions in prescribed medications, decommissioning of structured education, reductions in A&E attendance and reductions in GP consultations.
The business case for change is clear. Digital solutions offer a low-risk, high-value way of addressing a huge unmet need which, if delivered at scale, could free up vast numbers of hospital beds throughout the UK. At a time when we couldn’t need them more.
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