The NHS has launched a weight loss pilot scheme with Imperial College Hospitals as part of a new wellbeing scheme to keep staff healthy.
The £134,000 scheme offers the trust’s 10,000 staff an opportunity to access help from a range of dieticians, clinicians and help from weight-management organisation MoreLife.
The pilot will provide the blueprint for a national rollout which aims to help 700,000 NHS staff to keep healthy and tackle the impact of diabetes in the workplace.
The programme is a joint initiaitive between NHS England, Public Health England (PHE) and Diabetes UK.
Duncan Selbie, cheif executive of PHE, said: “This programme is putting ‘evidence into action’ on the ground.
“Despite type-2 diabetes being largely preventable, 2.5 million people in England already have the disease with another 9.6 million at high risk of developing it and this cannot be ignored.”
Ruth Warden, assistant director of employment services at NHS Employers, added: “The health of NHS staff is increasingly supported and this new initiative can help.
“Lasting health improvements come from changing our habits and finding ways to incorporate exercise into our daily routines. Employers can help staff take those positive steps in many different ways, including cycling schemes, providing healthier food, ensuring staff can rest properly during breaks and providing forums to talk about fitness.
“One challenge for local trusts will be to reach beyond those staff who are already predisposed to lose weight.
“This means approaching the issue with sensitivity, avoiding pressure and providing enough options to make it feel inclusive.
“Line managers have a big role in changing workplace culture but many would appreciate help on how to discuss weight when it comes up. So trusts will be looking into guidance or training for them.”