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NHS poorly prepared for obese

26th July 2011

According to the results of an analysis of patient safety data, the health service is not prepared enough to deal with obese patients.

obesity1

The Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Trust team looked at almost 400 cases from the National Patient Safety Agency in order to find out what kind of problems were occurring.

They found a number of issues, including mistakes with drugs, surgery and ventilation. The researchers stated that improvements needed to be made to training and equipment.

Almost one quarter of people in England and one in seven children are obese. The problem costs the NHS more than £4 billion annually.

The review of 389 reports from January 2005-August 2008 found that the health service was finding it hard to cope with the requirements of obese patients.

The study said the health service's focus was on the prevention of obesity rather than dealing with the consequences.

Most of the cases - 86% - were found to have caused "little or no harm" to patients. Although there were some serious issues reported, the majority were caused by lack of specialist equipment and caused delays or cancellations.

Dr Chris Booth, one of the report's authors, said: "Obesity has exploded over the last 15 to 20 years and the NHS has struggled to keep up. Obese patients need specialist equipment and there are physiological and anatomical differences that staff need to be aware of."

Mike Farrar, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said: "Ambulance trusts have had to invest significant amounts in bariatric ambulances in recent years and hospitals are increasing the number of extra-wide, reinforced beds as the demands of larger patients put greater pressure on the system and its staff." 

 

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Stephen Addy

Tuesday 26th July 2011 @ 21:27

I think that obese/fat people should pay some sort of cost to their treatment and the same should be said to people who end in casualty who are drunk, people who are in care for drugs, people who want cosmetic surgery because they are fat or vain/infertility treatment. Hospitals are there for the sick, not self inflicted weaknesses.


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Article Information

Title: NHS poorly prepared for obese
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 19221
Date Added: 26th Jul 2011

Sources

BBC News

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