Millions spent on hospital equipment for obese patients

The NHS is spending millions of pounds on specialist equipment for obese patients, the Daily Mail reports.

Figures obtained by the Conservatives under freedom of information laws show that almost £45 million has been spent on equipment to treat and transport obese patients.

The number of Britons in need of obesity surgery has led to an increased need for reinforced beds - of which the NHS now owns at least 10,715 - as well as heavy-duty ambulances and hoists.

Conservative health spokesman Andrew Lansley described obesity as "one of the greatest public health threats".

He told the Daily Mail that the government has been complacent and revealed that a future Conservative government would appoint local public health directors to make decisions about spending on obesity.

Figures published earlier this month by the government's national child measurement programme revealed that nearly one in four children are obese or overweight by the time they start primary school.

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Millions spent on hospital equipment for obese patients
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