To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Public Health England report entitled Disparities in the risk and outcomes of Covid-19, what steps his Department is taking to improve access to obesity services; and whether his Department plans to improve access to bariatric surgery for people with obesity.
8 July 2020
Clinical Commissioning Groups are responsible for commissioning complex obesity services for adults, which include all bariatric surgical procedures and the associated care. To help practitioners deliver the best possible care and give people the most effective treatments, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has produced a suite of guidance on reducing obesity including “Obesity: identification, assessment and management”. This includes recommendations on when to consider bariatric surgery for people who are obese.
Covid-19 makes it more important than ever to support the nation in achieving a healthy weight. We outlined in the “COVID-19 Recovery Strategy”, that we will invest in preventative and personalised solutions to ill-health, empowering individuals to live healthier and more active lives. This will involve expanding the infrastructure for active travel, for example cycling and walking, and expanding health screening services, especially through the NHS Health Check programme, which is currently under review.
Through the third chapter of the childhood obesity plan, published in July 2019 as part of “Advancing our health: prevention in the 2020s”, we are committed to looking at what further action can be taken to improve our weight management services and we are actively looking at how we can better support people living with obesity to achieve a healthier weight.