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York’s Priory Medical Group chosen to participate in pilot digital diabetes and obesity prevention scheme

Patients at York’s Priory Medical Group will be among the first in England to be offered innovative digital technology to help combat type 2 diabetes and obesity.

NHS England has launched a nationwide pilot scheme in which 5,000 overweight people at risk of type 2 diabetes will be offered apps, gadgets and other digital products and support to help them exercise more and eat more healthily.

Priory Medical Group, which operates nine GP surgeries across York, has been selected to take part in this 12-month pilot initiative, which could pave the way for a national digital weight-loss scheme in the future.

Over the next six months, the group - a member practice of the NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) - will identify suitable patients and invite them to take part in the project.

Participants will have access to one-on-one sessions with online health coaches, online support groups and a dedicated app to set and monitor exercise and diet goals.

Some patients will also receive wearable technology, such as activity-tracking wristbands and smart weighing scales, to help them monitor activity levels and be paired with a health mentor.

NHS England launched the scheme to coincide with World Diabetes Day earlier this month, teaming up with Public Health England, Diabetes UK and several leading companies from the tech sector to offer digital interventions to support people to stay healthy.

The project is designed to complement the Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme, a face-to-face-centred initiative launched last year to support people who are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Dr Emma Broughton, a GP at Priory Medical Group’s Heworth Green Surgery, said: “It’s fantastic news that these digital tools will be available to help prevent diabetes and obesity in the Vale of York as these are today’s major public health challenges.

“Although Priory Medical Group has offered a face-to-face pre-diabetes screening service for a while now, it’s important that we use available digital technology to also offer preventative services in an online setting.”

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