How the NHS is abandoning the obese

For decades we have seen how obesity can destroy lives, and have been frustrated by the slow pace of change. The Government’s advisory body, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), have asked healthcare professionals including GPs, England’s Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and Scottish Health Boards to offer four levels of support to the obese.

These include:

  • Tier 1 – Diet and fitness plans
  • Tier 2 – Slimming Clubs
  • Tier 3 – Dedicated centres with experts in weight loss, talking therapies and exercise
  • Tier 4 – Weight loss surgery

Their guidelines also state that the dedicated centres should be everyone’s right, and free of charge.

Sarah-Kate Templeton reported in the Sunday Times: “Severely obese adults will be referred for stomach reduction surgery even if they do not have medical conditions. But health campaigners say there is a shortage of services to meet the aims because clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), which hold the local NHS budgets, say they cannot afford them.”

This piece coincides with findings released by LighterLife UK – a weight-management company that helps people lose weight and keep it off by getting to the root cause of their emotional eating – which reveals that the services recommended by NICE are grossly under resourced.

According to LighterLife’s research – of the 225 CCGs and health boards in the UK that could have responded, only 161 answered and 19 per cent of those weren’t doing anything to help the obese at all.

To read more about their findings click here.