NHS England provides online support, developed at UCL, for Type 2 diabetes

28 May 2019

NHS England (NHSE) has announced that it will offer an online portal to people with type 2 diabetes to help them manage their condition via a first of its kind service.

The online programme for diabetes self-management, HeLP-Diabetes, was initially developed by a multidisciplinary group of academics and clinicians led by Professor Elizabeth Murray, Co-Director of the e-Health Unit and Head of the Research Department of Primary Care and Population Health at UCL with funding from the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR). The programme will now assist the NHS in providing patients with type 2 diabetes to evidence-based information and support available at the touch of a button, via an online portal, giving them convenient and quick help to deal with the physical and mental challenges of diabetes.

There are currently more than 2.8 million people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in England and a further 750,000 people are believed to be living with the condition undiagnosed. Eleven sites will now pilot the new service later this year, with a national roll out from 2020. This is an extremely positive step in the treatment of type 2 diabetes  to emerge from UCL’s research.

Through its social enterprise offering which utilises academic knowledge to address key issues affecting society, the UCLB team have been working alongside HelP Digital since its formation as a community interest company in 2015.

The company benefited from seed funding from The Health Social Innovators’ Programme, a partnership between UCLB, Numbers for Good and Trafford Housing Trust, with backing from the Cabinet Office’s Social Incubator Fund, which supported early-stage social health ventures with potential to create positive change in healthcare within England.

Professor Elizabeth Murray, Co-Director of the UCL eHealth Unit and Director of HeLP Digital CIC, 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.”

Analia Lemmo Charnalia, Senior Business Manager, UCLB, said:

“UCLB supports the development of social enterprises such as HeLP Digital CIC, as a further mechanism to translate UCL’s innovative knowledge base into products and services that can deliver substantive benefits to society. As such, we are delighted that NHS England is planning a full national roll-out of this online service for people with type 2 diabetes arising from UCL world-class research.”

Find out more:


NHS England: https://www.england.nhs.uk/2019/05/online-diabetes-support/


Daily Mail: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-7076217/Diabetes-patients-encouraged-care-health-using-personalised-website.html


How UCLB supports social enterprises: https://www.uclb.com/for-researchers/social-enterprise/