Young boy at a nutritionist appointment

NHS to launch 10 new specialist clinics in bid to curb childhood obesity

Thousands of children and young people are set to benefit from the launch of 10 new specialist obesity clinics, NHS England has announced today.

The new clinics will benefit approximately 3,000 patients with health service figures indicating that the number of hospital admissions for obese young people has almost tripled in the past 10 years, jumping from 3,370 in 2011/12 to 9,431 in 2021/22.

The news is set to be made official at the NHS ConfedExpo taking place in Manchester over the next couple of days where NHS England’s chief executive, Amanda Pritchard, will highlight the need for a shift to prevention as standing by and doing nothing is not an option.

She is expected to say: “Doing nothing now is not an option and so these new clinics, will bring together a range of experts in one place providing intensive – but sensitive – physical and mental support for thousands of young people and their families.”

Under the new initiative, which is being backed by £18m of the new two years, young patients will be able to access tailored support from a range of specialists including doctors, nurses, psychologists, social workers and dietitians.

As well as focusing on the delivering of treatment, the specialist teams will investigate the underlying causes of obesity in young people by looking at people’s physical and mental health through a holistic lens.

Obesity is linked to a range of complications with early joint replacements, type 2 diabetes, mental health challenges, stroke and even early death all included.

Chief executive of the NHS Confederation, Matthew Taylor, emphasised that “much more needs to be done at a societal level” to identify and ultimately address the root causes of obesity.

Swift action must be taken including quickly implementing the recommendations in the government’s own national food strategy, according to Taylor.

“We need new bold and brave ideas in health promotion and ill-health prevention especially when it comes to improving the nation’s diet, now is the time to do all we can to help the next and future generations live in good health for as long as possible,” he added.

Image credit: iStock.

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