You've likely arrived by clicking a link from your GP practice. This page explains more about the NHS Low Calorie Diet Programme and helps you understand whether you're eligible and whether it might be the right programme for you now. If you decide it is, then talk to your practice about a referral.
The NHS is delivering a new 12-month low calorie diet treatment for people who are overweight and living with Type 2 diabetes. It's based on the DiRECT study which showed that this approach could help people lose weight, improve their diabetes control, reduce diabetes-related medication and even achieve remission. You can only access the programme with a referral from your GP.
The NHS is now offering this new group-based programme to 500 people across the North East and North Cumbria. As the sessions are delivered in-person the service is being rolled out across the region in phases. This will minimise waiting times for most people offered the programme. But it also means that when you're invited you'll need to act quickly or risk missing out for some time.
The programme has three steps. To start with you’ll follow a low calorie diet for 12 weeks (your choice of soups, shakes, bars etc. totalling 8-900 calories per day). Then you’ll gradually replace these products with real meals over six weeks. Finally you’ll receive ongoing support for the last 8 months to help you maintain your weight loss.
Regular group support sessions for 10-15 people are at the core of the 12-month programme. Sessions start weekly, before moving to fortnightly and then monthly. They give you help, information and support throughout the programme. Sessions are for in-person groups at community venues.
If you attend the group sessions you'll be given the total diet replacement products and a range of high-quality resources including Workbooks, a Lifestyle logbook and recipes free of charge. We give you a year's access to the EXi physical activity app premium version for free.
You'll also be closely supported by your local GP practice – for example if your medicines need to be changed.
You must be registered with a GP practice in the North East and North Cumbria region and:
You also need to meet various other eligibility criteria and be willing to commit to the 12 month group programme to be referred to the service. Finally, you need a referral from your GP.
Other criteria include, but are not limited to, not being pregnant or planning pregnancy in the next 12 months, not being under care of a dietitian, not having had/being on the waitlist for bariatric surgery and not having certain other conditions.
If you're interested in finding out more about the NHS Low Calorie Diet Programme and deciding whether this is the right approach for you we encourage you to complete the self-assessment questionnaire below.
This kind of programme might not be acceptable to or helpful for everyone with Type 2 diabetes. It is important that you think carefully about whether this is the right type of support and the right time for you to take part. Answering the questions below should help you and your health care provider think about this.
You can download and save or print the questionnaire as you may find it helpful to discuss your responses with your healthcare provider. This can help you make a joint decision about whether this is the right approach for your diabetes management at this time – and consider what other support options may be helpful. You can tick the boxes on the downloaded copy and save your own completed version if you want to.
You can't tick the boxes on the image below online and this website does not store any responses. You don't need to share it with anyone if you don't want to.
Phase 1 referring GP practice areas - March-April 2022
- Durham Dales
Phase 2 practices - April-May 2022 Details coming soon.
If you think that the NHS Low Calorie Diet may be the right programme for you now and your practice is on the list above then we encourage you to contact your GP or diabetes nurse to confirm your eligibility and arrange a referral.
If you have not been sent here by your GP practice and your practice is not on the list above then you should wait for them to contact you about a referral (or you can ask them to be put on a waiting list).
All GP practices in the North East and North Cumbria will be made aware of the programme when it's their turn to refer. They will then contact their eligible and suitable patients about the service. However, if your GP does not know how to refer to the service please ask them to contact Lynn Sparrey at NECS for details. Alternatively you can contact us at on email@example.com and send us your GP / nurse and practice name we can forward get in touch with them to offer support.
Thank you very much.
Remission in people with Type 2 diabetes means that your blood sugar levels are no longer in the range for diabetes, without needing to take any diabetes medication.
Research tells us that remission is most likely to be achievable closer to your diagnosis – and is strongly linked to weight loss.
Some people call this reversing Type 2 diabetes, but we prefer the term remission because your Type 2 diabetes can come back.
There’s no guarantee you will reach remission as the research so far suggests that it isn’t possible for everyone. But there are many other benefits to losing extra weight - if you stick to the programme you can expect to lose 10% of your starting weight or more.
This programme uses a selection of Exante total diet replacement products.