With obesity now affecting more than one in four people in England, and high profile new weight loss drugs being approved, demand for weight management services is escalating. At the same time, the costs of treating obesity and linked conditions including Type 2 diabetes is growing dramatically.
Ensuring demand is met with effective treatments is complicated, because obesity itself is complicated. Carrying excess weight is associated with a range of social determinants (among them deprivation, disability, ethnicity) and often has complex links with mental ill health.
While new treatments are rightly generating interest and optimism, as ever there is a need to ensure that resources are used as effectively and fairly as possible – that the right support is given to the right person at the right time. At present, there is an inconsistency in services available and limited data to support commissioners in making decisions. And where services have been commissioned it can be difficult for commissioners to assess the true return on investment.
So how can the NHS get weight management services right? How can organisations ensure those living with excess weight have access to appropriate levels of care which address the multiple facets of obesity? How are people living with obesity currently experiencing and accessing services? How should we measure value in weight management services? Who should commission weight management services in the new ICS structure and how do we make the most of integration at the system level?
This HSJ webinar, run in association with Oviva, brought together a panel of experts to consider the answers to such questions.