NPA listens to those living with obesity to build on services
Last year, National Pharmacy Association policy director Helga Mangion told the Pharmacy Show there was an argument for community pharmacies to be delivering obesity services, as they already do on an informal basis.
Following on from this, the NPA held a roundtable in which it aimed to rlisten to those living with obesity, as well as governing bodies including the RPS, RSPH and UKHSA, about the best course of action for services implementation and what this would look like.
“Obesity continues to be the greatest public health challenge of the 21st century”, Ms Mangion told the Pharmacy Show in an update today. with the World Health Organization calling it an “epidemic”. Obesity continues to be responsible for eight per cent of health costs globally, with two thirds of all adults obese being classed as obese and overweight.
Men have more recently overtaken women as being more likely to be overweight or obese, while more children are being classed as overweight and obese and the UK has the second highest levels of both in Western Europe.
To establish successful consultations, the research gained by the NPA was that patients expected to be listened to, supported and receive an individual tailored approach. “To hear this be spelt out by patients was quite extraordinary,” said Ms Mangion.
Key asks also included support at different touch points, education, information and engagement, expert advice and support, a myriad of services (including mental health, access to a dietician and support for whole family), signposting and assuming the healthcare system works together so that patient would only have to tell their story once.
As a result, seven key recommendations were established, including more weight management and services that specifically target children and young people and looking at the services themselves.
Tackling gaps in teams' knowledge was another focus point, including educating teams on practical solutions and approaches to multidisciplinary support.