Making a difference

Marketing general

Making a difference

Background and Challenge

Diabetes is a lifelong condition causing an individual’s blood sugar level to become too high. Diabetes can significantly affect people reducing their quality of life as well as life expectancy.

There are two main types of diabetes:

  • Type 1, where the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the cells that produce insulin.
  • Type 2 ,where the body does not produce enough insulin or the body’s cells don’t react to insulin.

In the UK, Type 2 is more common than Type 1, 90% of all adults with diabetes have Type 2.1

Furthermore, it is estimated that over 5 million individuals throughout the UK are at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes2, approximately £14 billion is spent on treating diabetes and its complications each year.3

Public Health England estimate that as many as 8,000 Southwark residents (3.2%) may have undiagnosed diabetes and further 25,700 (10.2%) are at increased risk of developing diabetes.4 This is a country-wide problem and Southwark CCG wanted to join the National Diabetes Prevention Programme to alleviate pressures on local services and improve the health of its residents.


Southwark residents were some of the first in the country to be offered places on the first national programme to stop individuals developing Type 2 diabetes, the National Diabetes Prevention Programme. The programme is based on a joint commitment to reduce the incidence of Type 2 diabetes, it gives participants personalised support to help achieve a healthy weight, become more active and improve diet to reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

iPLATO, partnering with the NHS Southwark Clinical Commissioning Group, has been inviting hundreds of patients across 36 Southwark practices to participate in the National Diabetes Prevention Programme. To encourage patients from the practices to book their free place on the Diabetes Programme.

Individuals receive:

  • Primer SMS
  • Letter
  • Follow up 2nd SMS


This programme is viewed as a success:

  • Drastically improved referral to individual assessment rates. NHS Southwark CCG surpasses the national conversion rate by over 20%, proving that this programme has been successful
  • Reduced administrative burden for GP practices, as at-risk patients are highlighted and referred to iPLATO by the GP Federation
  • Consistent and scalable approach to meeting national requirements

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