Patients wishing to lose weight in County Durham and Darlington
now have access to a new service.
County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust has launched a
new weight management programme which works to support its
bariatric - weight loss surgery - service based at Darlington
The service provides access to nutritionists, psychologists and
physicians and can be used for patients who can't or do not wish to
try surgical intervention or by those in the preparation period for
their surgery when they need to lose a certain about of weight to
qualify for a procedure.
David Mason - who has lost 14 stone since having weight
loss surgey and 'completley chnaged his life' with the help of the
Dr Paul Peter Consultant Bariatric Physician says "Not everyone
is able to have weight loss surgery and indeed not everyone wants
to have it. What we can now offer is a medical management programme
to complement our surgical service and provide access to different
support and expert advice.
"We provide a full range of options to help patients manage
their weight issues appropriately. As part of the service patients
will be seen by physicians for support in dealing with
co-morbidities such diabetes and hypertension, for the first 12
weeks of the programme there is weekly support from our
nutritionists and dieticians which then continued fortnightly to
help educate patients about the right kind of diet to follow."
All patients who are referred for weight loss surgery must also
complete the six month weight management programme.
Mr Andrew Mitchell Consultant Bariatric Surgeon says: "Several
hundred patients have had weight loss surgery performed by our
trust over the last three years. Patients are required to make
significant long-term dietary and lifestyle changes to achieve a
good result. This new service allows all patients to receive this
support from a specialist team to prepare them for surgery.
Significant weight loss improves conditions such as diabetes,
allows patients to live longer, makes patients feel better and
actually saves the NHS money in under two years by reducing
healthcare costs. This new service will also allow patients to
receive life-long specialist follow-up after surgery."
Patients suitable for the programme will be referred by their
GPs. One such patient is forty four year old Barbara O'Reilly.
Barbara, who lives in Chilton, has been trying to lose weight
for over 26 years. She has decided to go ahead with bariatric
surgery but is following the new weight loss programme to lose some
weight ahead of her operation.
Barbara said: "I've been trying to lose weight for 26 years and
have tried many different kinds of diets and groups such as
slimming world. I want to feel healthier and feel better about
myself. I have a target weight that I'd like to be and it means
losing about 7 stone. Already on the plan I've lost half a stone
over 12 weeks.
"You start off by going to a group seminar. At first I wasn't
sure about it being a group but I've found it has given me more
confidence, I'll talk to everyone now. It's a very different
atmosphere to slimming groups I have been to in the past. Everyone
is really friendly and supportive of each other.
"The health staff weigh you and take your height and then talk
through different plans with you. They give you tips on exercise as
well, they have helped me find some exercises that I can do on my
trampoline and have designed an eating plan which shows me what
portions to eat and how many calories are in different foods.
I didn't realise how much sugar was in fruit before but I can still
eat normally on the plan, it's very easy to follow.
"I'm hoping to continue on the plan and keep having regular
appointments with the consultant to prepare for my surgery."
The new service is available to patients who have a BMI of 40 or
over or who have a BMI of 35 with other medical conditions, it is
also available to patients with a BMI of 30 and who have recently
In keeping with the Trust's intention of moving care closer to
home, the service operates from community locations in
Darlington, Bishop Auckland ,Ferryhill , Chester-le-Street
and Seaham with additional options being investigated in Barnard
Castle and Durham.
'I cannot commend the clinic enough. It is marvellous we
have this service at all and well done to you all.'
Patient, Coronary Heart Disease / Heart Failure Service, Shotley
Bridge Community Hospital