Type 2 diabetes prevention is a major priority for healthcare services and public health. This study aimed to evaluate how a local authority in England piloted a diabetes prevention programme. The South Gloucestershire Diabetes Prevention (Pilot) Programme (SGDPP) comprised a group health education course over six weeks with subsequent support provision up to six months post-enrolment. Of the 300 patients invited onto the programme, 32% enrolled and 29% completed the full six-month programme. There was an attendance rate of 84% throughout group sessions and at a six-month follow-up. There were significant improvements across most measures at six months, including a 4 kg mean weight loss and a 3.45 mmol/mol mean HbA1c reduction. Clear goals, high quality organization and personal qualities of educators were identified as central for the programme’s success. The unit costs were similar to pilots of other healthy lifestyle programmes. The evaluation found evidence of reduced type 2 diabetes risk markers, positive impacts for dietary and physical activity, and potential cost-effectiveness for this format of group-based diabetes prevention intervention. Feedback from multiple stakeholders provided insight on how to successfully embed and scale-up delivery of diabetes prevention work. This evidence enables the integration of learning in local service delivery and provides a basis to support development of the national diabetes prevention programme.
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