UCL Institute of Healthcare Engineering


HeLP-Diabetes: online diabetes support available nationally

31 May 2019

​​​​​​​The UCL-developed programme empowers people with Type 2 diabetes to self-manage their condition.

HeLP Diabetes

NHS England has announced it will be rolling the HeLP-Diabetes programme nationally in 2020.

This offering is the first of its kind and enables people with Type 2 diabetes to access evidence-based information and support online.

Developed by Prof Elizabeth Murray (UCL Institute of Epidemiology & Healthcare), an NIHR-funded trial of the HeLP-Diabetes programme helped users lower their blood glucose levels and see an increase in their mental wellbeing.

Type 2 diabetes affects more almost three million people in the UK. It is a condition where the body is unable to metabolise glucose, leading to high levels of glucose in the bloodstream which over time can cause organ damage. However, many people with diabetes can stay well without medication through managing their diet and exercise.

The online programme provides users with personalised information and emotional support around self-managing their condition. Users can also record their weight, blood sugar, daily steps and mood changes. 40% of people with Type 2 diabetes report feelings of guilt and depression; HeLP-Diabetes offers cognitive behavioural therapy and wellbeing advice.

The digital portal is easier to access to face-to-face diabetes information sessions and is designed to keep people motivated between twice-yearly nurses’ appointments.

Professor Elizabeth Murray (UCL Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care), said:

Online programmes offer individuals the flexibility to access support that fits around their lifestyle. All the content in our programme was evidence-based drawing on a range of diabetes management research including behavioural change, accessibility and usability, and promoting emotional wellbeing by drawing on principles of cognitive behavioural therapy and mindfulness. We are delighted that the proven benefits of this programme for people with type 2 diabetes can be made available to everyone in England.  It is great to see the advantages of online interventions (scalability and cost-effectiveness) being realised in the NHS.”

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