NHS Low Calorie Diet Pilot is available across South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw.

The NHS Low Calorie Diet service for people with Type 2 diabetes launched across South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw in September 2020. SYB is one of 10 sites across England that will be rolling out the new, innovative and free service, which provides a one to one virtual programme to support healthier lifestyle, weight loss and remission of type 2 diabetes.

Practices are now able to refer eligible patients between the ages of 16 and 65 who have had type 2 diabetes for less than 6 years to the NHS Low Calorie Diet Programme. Based on clinical trials (including the DIRECT study), the 12 month programme consists of 3 phases: For three months, patients will be provided with low-calorie total diet replacement products, such as shakes and soups. After this, they’ll reintroduce solid foods before moving on to the maintenance phase to support their weight loss during the 12 months. The programme is being delivered by Reed Wellbeing, who currently also deliver the Diabetes Prevention Programme.

If you have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes then speak with your GP who can refer you to the Low Calorie Diet Programme.

NHS Low Calorie Diet Programme in South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw by Dr David Evans

Programme Overview 

The 12 month programme will include 20 free sessions, where trained coaches will help you make sustainable changes to your lifestyle. Your weight, blood pressure and blood glucose level will be tracked over the 12 month period. 

There are three stages of the programme:

Total Diet Replacement (12 weeks)
Your usual diet will be replaced with a controlled diet to help you lose weight safely, consiting of a range of healthy shakes, soups, meals, and desserts. These will be provided for free over a 12 week period. 

Food Reintroduction (5 weeks)
A trained Health Coach will guide you to reintroduce food into your diet in a safe, healthy way. This includes getting food boxes, help with meal planning, understanding nutrition ans balancing a healthy diet. 

Maintenance (35 weeks)
The aim of the programme is to help you make changes that are long-lasting and sustainable. This phase of the programme will provide you with the knowledge and tools you need to continue to achieve your health and wellbeing goals.

More information about the programme can be found in your journey booklet.

Case Studies

Please find here case studies of the NHS Low Calorie Diet Programme provided by Reed Wellbeing.

Eligibility Criteria


  • Be registered to a South Yorkshire or Bassetlaw GP Practice 
  • Aged between 18 to 65 years-old 
  • Diagnosed with Type 2 diabeted with the last 6 years 
  • a BMI of 27kg/m2 or higher (adjusted to 25kg/mor higher in people of Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) ethnic origin)
  • A HbA1c measurement taken within the last 12 months, with values as follows:
    • If on diabetes medication, HbA1c 43 mmol/mol or higher 
    • If not on diabetes medication, HbA1c 48 mmol/mol or higher 
    • In all cases, HbA1c must be 87 mmol/mol or lower 
  • Have attended for monitoring and diabetes review when this was last offered, including retinal screening, and commit to continue attending reviews, even if remission is achieved 


  • Current insulin user 
  • Pregnant or planning to become pregnant within the next 6 months
  • Has at least one of the following significant co-morbidities;
    • Active cancer 
    • Heart attack or stroke in the last 6 months 
    • Severe heart failure (defined as New York Heart Association grade 3 or 4) 
    • Severe renal impairment (most recent eGFR less than 30mls/mln/1.73m2
    • Active liver disease (not including NAFLD) 
    • Active substance use disorder
    • Active eating disorder 
    • Porphyria 
    • Known proliferative retinopathy that has not been treated 
  • Has recent weight liss of greater than 5% body weight or is currently on a weight management programme 
  • Has had or is awaiting bariatric surgery (unless willing to come of waiting list)

View the full NHS Referral Criteria here.

How to refer

The following clinicians can refer to this service: GPs

Referrals can be made through a referral form which is available on both Systm1 and EMIS.

For the referal form and full eligibility criteria please refer to the LCD Referral Form found here.