Despite the growing childhood obesity crisis half of GP surgeries say that they have nothing to help families.
Leading obesity charity is incredulous that research indicates GPs are unable to assist with obesity problems.
In the UK 1 in 3 children and 2 in 3 adults are overweight or obese. The estimated annual cost of obesity is £27bn to the economy in both costs and lost revenue, higher than any other public health issue.
Further to previous FOI reports based around the spend of Local Authorities, UK based national charity HOOP UK have now carried out a further survey with the CCGs to understand their work within the obesity sector.
• 136 CCGs (out of 211 CCGs in England) responded to our request:
• 2 reported providing Tier 3 WMS for children and young people.
• 34 reported providing Tier 3 WMS for adults.
• 1 CCG reported providing funds for children’s Tier 2 WMS but not Tier 3 services.
• 6 CCGs reported providing funds for Adult Tier 2 services, but only 2 of these were alongside Tier 3 provision.
• The average allocation of funds for WMS for children is £37,200 and adults is £99,925, representing 0.00005% and 0.005% of the CCG allocation of funds respectively.
• 70 CCGs reported that they are not responsible for WMS for children.
• 49 CCGs reported that they are not responsible for WMS for adults.
• A total spend of £4.8m was reported by CCGs during the financial year 2015/16.
• In comparison, investment in Type 2 diabetes is £2.2bn per annum to address the NHS costs of £7.7bn (£1bn is spent on Type 1 Diabetes)i and cardiovascular disease costs the NHS £6.8bn (2013/14).
HOOP UK (established in 2012) acts as the voice of the obese person and raises funds to help individuals who struggle daily with obesity. It also aims to break down the stigma surrounding the condition – something that adds daily to the plight of those who are overweight or obese.
Hoop UK states:
This report is quite shocking, but we want it to create action – not just hot air. It is unbelievable that even though so much attention is brought to the obesity crisis, families are often unable to get help from their GP.
We are calling for leadership from Central Government. It’s time that this problem is taken seriously and that CCGs are monitored in regards to their offering to their obese patients. Our aim is to see a Department of Obesity created to deal with this unique problem.
We also ask all CCGs to take responsibility for weight management services. Over half of those we asked said they were not responsible for children’s weight management services. How can that be? We are also looking for services within CCGs to be developed around evidence based needs. It’s common sense really.
As with HOOP UK’s previous reports, this latest publication uncovers the fact that the gap between spending on obesity and other health related services continues to be huge with obesity receiving a fraction of the allocation.
Hoop Report states:
This report supports our previous findings reflecting minimal national investment in tackling obesity. We hear media reports on a weekly basis about the issue of obesity especially in children. The continual delay of the Childhood obesity strategy which was a commitment made in the government manifesto demonstrates the lack of prioritisation of this issue. We are also very concerned about the lack of joined up government, with the recent announcement that revenue generated by the ‘sugar tax’ would be used to invest in school sport. Unfortunately, the evidence shows the beneficiaries of school’s sport is “sporty” not obese kids and based on this evidence it would seem more prudent to spend it where it’s most needed.
Given the clear case for investment and the evidence of cost effectiveness of interventions, the NHS needs to explain why it is failing to address such serious health and economic issues, and failing to provide services that can significantly help to stem the rising tide of NHS costs on diabetes, heart disease and cancers, in addition to its significant impacts on the mental wellbeing and social contribution of significant numbers of people.
Download report here: Hoop_report_2016_