The NHS has announced that it will be offering online support for patients with type II diabetes to help them manage their condition, via a first of its kind service.

The new online portal in partnership with Changing Health will offer people with type II diabetes evidence-based information and support, which will be available at the touch of a button, giving them convenient and quick help to deal with the physical and mental challenges of diabetes.

Patients have already made use of the online courses and information to help reduce their blood glucose levels, a crucial part of managing type II diabetes.

The collaboration with Changing Health will see the largest ever roll out of free digital support for people diagnosed with type II diabetes, which currently costs the NHS around £8.8 billion a year.

The company says that the partnership will allow the NHS to offer its patients highly personalised support to make positive lifestyle changes and crucially sustain them over the long term.

Following a successful trial through funding from the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR), a range of online tools, resources and support services will now be made available, including educational courses supporting lifestyle changes to help people better manage their diabetes and trustworthy information relating to lifestyle choices including diet, exercise and managing alcohol consumption.

“Online programmes offer individuals the flexibility to access support that fits around their lifestyle”, explained Professor Elizabeth Murray, UCL Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care.

She continued, “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.”

There are currently more than 2.8 million people diagnosed with type II diabetes and a further 750,000 people are believed to be living with the condition undiagnosed.