Grimsby NHS Weight Watchers scheme 'success' for obese

image captionDr Raj Kumar said it was better to treat patients early

An initiative which aims to help obese patients lose weight has been successful, an NHS trust said.

NHS North East Lincolnshire has paid to send 86 clinically obese patients from Grimsby to Weight Watchers this year.

Between the two groups established, a combined weight of 1,254lbs (89.5 stone) has been lost since January.

The trust said those eligible could be referred by their GP and participate in the scheme for 12 weeks free of charge.

The classes are being held at Stirling Medical Centre and Cromwell Primary Care Centre.

Patients must be 18, have a body mass index of 30kg/m2 and have not attended a slimming group within a year.

Slimmer Ray Taff said the fact he was able to join Weight Watchers was a "door opener" for him. He said it had saved him £60.

'Participant determination'

Dr Raj Kumar, of the Cromwell Primary Care Centre, said: "If we don't catch them early now it's still the taxpayers' money going into the acute admissions at the hospital in the middle of the night."

The trust confirmed the cost of Weight Watchers classes to the NHS were agreed at a lower rate, compared to regular members. The trust would not reveal how much this was.

Other trusts across the country have held similar initiatives for overweight patients.

Kelly Reddington, of the specialist health promotion service which runs the programme on behalf of the trust, said: "The programme is designed not just for people to lose weight but for them to keep it off long term.

"We are thrilled with the progress that has been made so far by the participants, they have shown real determination and this has been reflected in their amazing weight loss."

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