Leading private health care provider, BMI Healthcare, has launched a comprehensive weight loss programme for private patients. A web site and information line is now up and running with a dedicated weight loss service operating from 15 of BMI’s 49 private hospitals.
The service provides patients with surgical options and assessment for eligibility and substantial post-operative care from leading surgeons, along with information about surgical procedures and patient support groups, follow up care, dietary advice and counselling.
BMI Healthcare believes that obesity weight loss is under-provided in the public sector so their aim for the new service is to support and help patients achieve long term and permanent weight loss. Ian Smith, chief executive of General Healthcare Group, of which BMI Healthcare is a subsidiary, commented, “Overcoming obesity is a national priority. Our new weight loss service delivers a positive solution for individuals who have suffered or risk suffering health problems because of their weight.”
Janet Edmond, Director of the British Obesity Surgery Patient Association (BOSPA) supports the programme and recognises the importance of a multi-disciplinary approach to follow-up treatment. “The role of the dietician is particularly important to help patients adjust their food choices and adapt to the new eating behaviours that will ensure a successful outcome.”
Obesity is a serious condition which the World Health Organisation has classified as a disease in its own right. In the UK there are over 1.2 million morbidly obese people, and 4,341 weight loss operations were carried out in the UK last year. Obesity increases a person’s chances of suffering serious health problems such as diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure and heart attacks, and furthermore an obese person will almost certainly have a shorter life expectancy.
According to BOSPA, a person roughly 30kg (65lbs) or more above their ideal weight is considered to be severely obese. It is not just about eating too much however as many people eat more calories than they actually need, but not everyone stores the excess as fat.
Both gastric banding and gastric bypass are available after a thorough clinical assessment of the patient’s eligibility and clinical needs by teams of leading consultant bariatric surgeons, dieticians and specialist nursing staff. Weight loss surgery specialist, Mr Ackroyd, consultant general surgeon at BMI Thornbury Hospital said “For patients suffering acute conditions because of their weight, this type of treatment can be life changing, and in some cases, life-saving”.
Liz Keens had lap band surgery at BMI, The Shelburne Hospital, High Wycombe in June 2005. She said: “I’ve lost four stone and my life has changed dramatically. Though I’ve still got more weight to lose, I’m much more active and now play tennis, ski and am able to work harder. The regular follow-ups with my consultant and dietician were excellent and really helped me to stay healthy while I lost weight.”