NHS deny obese patients surgery

The Rebalance Foundation was launched just 2 days ago, and already the BBC has highlighted exactly why we are needed, relevant, stepping up!

Obese patients will be denied surgery by the Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group – either they must shed 10% of their body weight, get their Body Mass Index (BMI) below 30, or wait, the BBC reports this morning.

I note the report doesn’t say obese patients will instead be offered an effective nutritional and lifestyle programme tailored to meet their own individual needs. Of course not! Since attacks on the out of date, ineffective NHS dietary guidelines were mounted by The National Obesity Forum in May this year exactly nothing has changed! In fact the NHS website defends why their out of date, ineffective dietary guidelines will not be changed. Public Health England are equally, and in our view irresponsibly, defensive about inadequate official guidelines.

The NHS will not be revising their dietary guidelines to help prevent or treat obesity; our Government have sidestepped the crucial issue of childhood obesity in their much-criticised, overdue, “inexcusable” Childhood Obesity Strategy report; and obese patients will be denied surgery. The Royal College of Surgeons has described the restrictions as “some of the most severe the modern NHS has ever seen“. While this particular move has been taken in my own home area, The Daily Telegraph reports Chris Hopson, the head of NHS Providers, saying: “I think we are going to see more and more decisions like this.

So let’s get this straight:

  • food manufacturers continue to produce and promote low-fat foods that cause obesity
  • official NHS and Public Health England stick with dietary guidelines that recommend obesity causing low-fat foods
  • the Government fails to tackle either of these problems
  • having already failed obese patients, the NHS now punishes them by with-holding surgical treatments.

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The Rebalance Foundation cannot answer for the decision or actions of others, but we can provide realistic, effective, tried and tested advice – simply click here to get started!

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