Prevention programme transformed Norwich man’s outlook on life

Phil Roger. Photo: Norfolk CCGs

Phil Roger. Photo: Norfolk CCGs - Credit: Norfolk CCGs

A diabetes prevention programme has been 'life-changing' for a Norwich man who was at risk of developing the condition.

Arvid Jayal. Photo: Norfolk CCGs

Arvid Jayal. Photo: Norfolk CCGs - Credit: Norfolk CCGs

Phil Roger, 53, was referred to the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme following a health check with his GP.

Mr Roger said: 'The letter telling me I was at risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes really was a wake-up call, it seriously made me think about my life and lifestyle.'

Mr Roger joined up to the prevention scheme group in Brundall, which was based around the X-pert Diabetes prevention management book.

The aim is for the participants to naturally incorporate healthier decisions and activity into their everyday lifestyles and the course is a mixture of educational nutrition classes and physical exercise sessions.

Mr Roger enjoyed the education sessions. He said: 'The education sessions were fantastic, it really is based on scientific evidence and means, for me, I could understand and digest it better as I could see what it was based on. The information given to me has turned into knowledge and I now understand the effect things like glucose have on your body.'

The NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme has been rolled out across the country, and is currently provided in North Norfolk, South Norfolk and Norwich and is due to be rolled out in West Norfolk and Great Yarmouth and Waveney in July 2018.

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Mr Roger, who lost four and a half stone during the programme, found his self-confidence and self-belief begin to grow leading him to evaluate a number of areas in his life.

He said: 'It completely transformed my outlook on life, I have changed my job, I enjoy life more and I am looking to move to the Channel Islands later this year.'

He added: 'Grab the opportunity with both hands, the knowledge it teaches you is worth more than thousands of pounds and it will help you get your life back. At the end of the day knowledge is power and power gives you choices, ultimately nothing is more important that your health.'

Arvid Jayal also benefited from the programme and said he felt 'fantastic' since joining.

Following a routine blood test, Mr Jayal's GP recommended he join the programme as he was borderline Type 2 diabetic.

As a music and documentary producer Arvid, 64, from Salhouse, led a sedentary lifestyle. Following 12 weeks on the programme Mr Jayal has lost two stone and 8in from around his waist and has revolutionised his daily routine.

He said: 'Once it is explained you are more mindful of what you are fuelling your body with, it educates you to make the right choices. Since I have lost the weight I have so much energy and this in itself makes me feel so much better.

'Prior to joining the programme, my wife and I ate a pretty balanced diet but it was based on low fat high carbs, This has now been turned on its head.'

Since beginning the programme Mr Jayal now takes his dog out for daily three-and-a-half mile walks and undertakes high intensity interval training for seven to 10 minutes every day, as well as following his diet guidelines of fewer complex sugars and carbohydrates and increased protein.

Mr Jayal will continue the programme for another six months, learning about mindfulness techniques, the benefit of physical activity and will be encouraged to set goals throughout.

He added: 'The leaders were enormously supportive in helping me adapt the changes to my everyday life, if it is involved in your everyday habits then it all becomes second nature – it's not a diet but a lifestyle choice, I choose life.'

Type 2 Diabetes is a growing public health problem within England which puts additional pressure on the NHS's already strained budget.

Every year Type 2 diabetes costs the NHS £8.8bn, which equates to almost 9pc of its budget and causes 20,000 early deaths per year.

Pre-diabetic patients can be referred onto the programme through their GP surgery. To find out more, visit

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