Peterborough hospital staff wear 'fat suits'

The 6kg suit is designed to help reduce injuries to staff and patients

Related Stories

About 1,000 hospital staff are being trained to better understand their obese patients by wearing a "fat suit".

The 6kg (13lb) suit is designed to help reduce injuries to staff and patients at Peterborough City Hospital.

Moving and handling trainer Rolf Stobbart said as a result of the suit, staff were "thinking about patients in a different way".

The number of the hospital's patients weighing over 28 stone (180kg) has risen from six in 2010 to 52 this year.

The heaviest patient the hospital has treated has been 55 stone (349kg).

'Patient's dignity'

The £1,000 suit was donated to the hospital by the charity Friends of Peterborough Hospital.

When worn by staff it is designed to give them the proportions of a 40-stone (254kg) person and restrict their movement.

Julie Tebb, from the hospital's moving and handling team, said: "I found it quite uncomfortable to be completely flat on my back.

"It restricts my airways, and I find it difficult to breathe."

The care of obese patients is known as bariatric medicine.

Mr Stobbart said: "Having the staff prepared with the knowledge of dealing with the bariatric patient, it's [about] techniques we already use but in a different format."

In October, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence issued draft guidance which said doctors treating obese or overweight patients should be "respectful" and "non-blaming".

Just over a quarter of adults in England are classed as obese and a further 41% of men and 33% of women as overweight.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Cambridgeshire



18 °C 10 °C

Features & Analysis

  • Toronto Mayor Rob FordFord nation

    Toronto mayor's enemies unite with him in new battle

  • Tattooed person using tabletRogue ink

    People who lost their jobs because of their tattoos

  • An ant and a humanAnts v humans

    Do all the world's ants really weigh as much as all the humans?

  • Two sphinxes guarding the entrance to the tombTomb mystery

    Secrets of ancient burial site keep Greeks guessing

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • GeoguessrWhere in the world...?

    Think you are a geography expert? Test your knowledge with BBC Travel’s interactive game


  • TokyoThe Travel Show Watch

    Japan has a reputation for being expensive but can you visit without breaking the bank?

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.