Pharmacists can now refer obese people to free weight loss courses

Pharmacists can now refer obese people to free weight loss courses to help reduce burden on NHS

  • Pharmacists can from today refer obese people to free weight loss courses 
  • The move is set to boost health and reduce the burden of obesity on the NHS
  • Patients can ask be to signed up for the course or staff can recommend it 

Pharmacists can refer obese people to free weight loss courses from today in a bid to boost their health and reduce their burden on the NHS.

Patients can ask to be signed up for the 12-week programme or staff can recommend it if they think it will be beneficial.

The online NHS course includes access to tailored diet and exercise plans, apps and one-to-one training and support.

Three in five adults in England are overweight. More than one in four is obese, placing them at an increased risk of cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes (file photo used)

It is open to adults in England with high blood pressure or diabetes and a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher.

Those from Asian, black and minority ethnic backgrounds can join with a lower BMI of 27.5, due to their increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

Until now, patients had to be seen by their GP before they could access the course.

Three in five adults in England are overweight. More than one in four is obese, placing them at an increased risk of cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

The online NHS course includes access to tailored diet and exercise plans, apps and one-to-one training and support (file photo used)

Diabetes is estimated to cost the NHS £10billion a year, with one in 20 GP prescriptions issued to treat the condition.

Dr Bruce Warner, deputy chief pharmaceutical officer at NHS England, said: ‘Adults with obesity can now walk into any high street community pharmacy to take the first step on a life-changing weight loss journey.’

Projections show that the growing number of people with the condition could result in nearly 39,000 extra people having a heart attack in 2035, and more than 50,000 suffering a stroke. 

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