Study on GP referrals to weight management schemes 'positive and encouraging' says RCGP Chair

Publication date: 17 October 2017

Responding to a study in BMJ Open today on diabetes and GP-referrals to weight management programmes, Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners, said: "Type 2 diabetes is a serious and potentially debilitating condition for patients, and it costs the NHS a huge amount of money every year, so the College welcomes any scheme that can prevent, or delay, its onset.

"Losing weight through a combination of responsible dieting and appropriate physical activity is one of the best things people can do to avoid developing, or lessen the impact of type 2 diabetes – but we know that many patients struggle to lose weight, and that the type of long-term behaviour change necessary can be hard to inspire.

"Today's findings that GP referrals to weight management programmes appear to have prevented a third of patients from developing type 2 diabetes are both positive and encouraging, and are certainly something for commissioners to consider.

"However, organised weight management programmes won't work for everyone so GPs and our teams will continue to play a pivotal role in managing the vast amount of diabetes care in the community, advising patients about lifestyle changes that can improve their health, so we must ensure that general practice has the investment it needs, and the appropriate number of GPs and nursing colleagues, to do this properly."

Further Information

RCGP Press office: 020 3188 7633/7410/7574/7575
Out of hours: 0203 188 7659

Notes to editor

The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 52,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.

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