Healthy hos­pi­tal get­ting a grip on obe­sity cri­sis

With the UK suf­fer­ing an obe­sity epi­demic an NHS hos­pi­tal in east Manch­ester is mak­ing sure its staff and pa­tients can eat nu­tri­tious meals

Daily Express - - The Crusader - By Danny Buck­land

DRAS­TIC mea­sures have been taken to tackle obe­sity at a hos­pi­tal by get­ting staff to lead by ex­am­ple – re­mov­ing fizzy drinks and sug­ary snacks from vend­ing ma­chines and de­liv­er­ing healthy meals to those stuck on wards and in clin­ics.

A re­port is be­ing sent to Health Sec­re­tary Matt Han­cock and the idea could be rolled out across the NHS. Tame­side Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal, which serves 250,000 peo­ple in east Manch­ester, was the first to ban sug­ary drinks and even has a reg­u­lar farm­ers’ mar­ket with fresh lo­cal pro­duce.

The lo­cal pop­u­la­tion is among the poor­est and un­health­i­est in the UK with high obe­sity rates. The hos­pi­tal’s 4,000 staff, who work long shifts with lit­tle op­por­tu­nity to eat prop­erly, strug­gle to stay healthy and ad­mit they set a bad ex­am­ple to the pub­lic.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive Karen James, a for­mer nurse, said: “Staff say they are telling pa­tients to eat health­ier and take ex­er­cise but they are not re­ally heed­ing their own ad­vice and they feel dread­ful about that.

“Our staff are part of the com­mu­nity and peo­ple look to them for ad­vice and sup­port but if they don’t look or feel healthy then they are not in a good po­si­tion to help oth­ers. These are ded­i­cated pro­fes­sion­als who be­lieve they should be role models but the food en­vi­ron­ment at the hos­pi­tal has been work­ing against them.”

THE UK is in the grip of an obe­sity epi­demic that claims 30,000 lives a year, de­prives peo­ple of nine years of life and costs the NHS more than £6.1bil­lion a year, while a sur­vey by the Royal Col­lege of Nurs­ing re­ported that 25 per cent of nurses were obese.

“We have to make it eas­ier for them to do the right things and lead by ex­am­ple,” says James, whose changes have in­cluded cut­ting the num­ber of vend­ing ma­chines and ban­ning sug­ary drinks and snacks in the re­main­ing ones, health­ier food in the can­teen and of­fer­ing to de­liver meals to busy staff around the hos­pi­tal.

It also paid for 100 staff to go on a weight loss pro­gramme and is try­ing to re­shape shift pat­terns so they have time to eat healthily rather than mak­ing do with sand­wiches, crisps, choco­late and treats brought in by grate­ful pa­tients and their rel­a­tives.

The changes have seen staff achieve trans­for­ma­tive weight loss and ex­perts be­lieve the suc­cess will help the lo­cal pop­u­la­tion heed ad­vice about their health and weight. The project will be fea­tured on Chan­nel 4 tonight.

“Un­fit and un­healthy nurses are a cause for con­cern,” adds James. “A lot of our nurses come from EAT WELL: Fresh lo­cal food at Tame­side Hos­pi­tal where sug­ary vend­ing ma­chine prod­ucts, in­set, are out within our com­mu­nity so, with in­creas­ing de­mand and ad­mis­sions, we have to turn the model on its head to say: how can we pre­vent ill health and how can we pro­mote health and well-be­ing?

“Staff say that some­times they know they are not fit but they are talk­ing to pa­tients and telling them to eat health­ier, keep their di­a­betes un­der con­trol and ex­er­cise more – yet they are not re­ally tak­ing their own ad­vice.

“We know that nurses, and other staff, do long shifts and it can be dif­fi­cult to get off the wards to eat the right things. We also have lots of pa­tients and rel­a­tives who thank staff by bring­ing cakes and choco­lates so that type of food is of­ten around.

“We have to give them the op­por­tu­nity to keep healthy.”

Tam Fry, chief of the Na­tional Obe­sity Fo­rum be­lieves the Tame­side tem­plate should be repli­cated around the NHS. “I’m fully sup­port­ive. Many hos­pi­tals have

kevin loses 2 stone with slim­pod

KEVIN Mor­ris put on weight after a shoul­der in­jury at 26 cut short his sport­ing ac­tiv­i­ties. The 6ft for­mer porter and theatre as­sis­tant, mar­ried with two chil­dren, saw his weight bal­loon to more than 19 stone as he strug­gled to eat healthily while work­ing long shifts.

“The weight piled on. I tried all the di­ets but I lose in­ter­est if I don’t lose weight quickly,” he says. “I was vir­tu­ally ad­dicted to crisps and could eat five pack­ets a day no prob­lem. I some­times got through 11 pack­ets be­cause they are so con­ve­nient. “But the weight be­came an in­creas­ing prob­lem as I couldn’t do a great deal.” Kevin, 50, from Moss­ley who works in the hos­pi­tal’s plas­ter room, tried the Slim­pod sys­tem, which uses a nine-minute daily mes­sage to help users lose weight and re­frame their ap­proach to food. Kevin added: “I was a bit scep­ti­cal at first be­cause I have tried so many fad di­ets but this is re­ally work­ing and I’ve lost more than two stone.” lots of vend­ing ma­chines that are full of junk but some­times they are the only op­tion for staff with lit­tle time. “Hos­pi­tal staff are role models so it is im­por­tant to sup­port them to be fit for the job. I hope other hos­pi­tals fol­low this lead.” Or­thopaedic prac­ti­tioner Kevin Mor­ris, 50, ditched his habit of munch­ing through 11 pack­ets of crisps a day and lost two stone.

“I live in a three-storey house and had to have a rest after the first flight,” says Kevin, whose weight peaked at 19.5 stone be­fore he started on the Slim­pod weight loss pro­gramme when it was of­fered by the hos­pi­tal in June. “I’d got that big a few years back that my daugh­ter Lucy wanted me to go on a diet so she could get her arms round me to give me a hug.”

The Depart­ment of Health and So­cial Care said: “We are com­mit­ted to im­prov­ing health through our Long Term Plan for the NHS and this is a great ex­am­ple of how em­ploy­ers can do their part to help staff be health­ier. “The Gov­ern­ment is de­ter­mined to pro­mote the ben­e­fits of good nu­tri­tion and reg­u­lar ex­er­cise to help pa­tients live longer, health­ier and hap­pier lives.”

How To Lose Weight Well, Chan­nel 4, 8pm tonight

lVAIN for­mer Tory politi­cian-turned­p­re­sen­ter Michael Por­tillo, 65, faced mock­ery dur­ing his lat­est ap­pear­ance on BBC1 cur­rent af­fairs show This Week, after un­wisely choos­ing to wear a tight-fit­ting shirt on the night.

View­ers were quick to no­tice the light blue gar­ment seemed alarm­ingly close to burst­ing through­out the pro­gramme. “The pos­si­bil­ity of but­tons ex­plod­ing from Por­tillo’s shirt ap­pears im­mi­nent,” noted one con­cerned viewer on Twit­ter, while an­other ap­pealed to pro­duc­ers: “Please buy Michael Por­tillo a big­ger shirt!”

The im­mac­u­lately-coif­fured broad­caster has long en­dured un­kind com­ments about his colour­ful sar­to­rial taste. When Por­tillo once ap­peared on the same show clad in a par­tic­u­larly bright green gar­ment, ac­tor and fel­low guest Brian Blessed bel­lowed: “He looks like the King of the Leprechauns!”

NEWS Theresa May had to cope with Hi-de-Hi! ac­tress Su Pol­lard bend­ing her ear about Brexit at a re­cent Down­ing Street party prompts long­time po­lit­i­cal ob­servers to sug­gest you in­vite the star to such oc­ca­sions at your peril.

Hickey is re­minded of an­other bizarre oc­ca­sion when ec­cen­tric Pol­lard, 69, at­tended a re­cep­tion in Par­lia­ment, only to re­port­edly in­sist on “blow­ing a whis­tle” dur­ing speeches by then Labour leader Ed Miliband and fel­low guests.

BUB­BLY ac­tress and for­mer child star Bon­nie Lang­ford, cast in a Lon­don stage ver­sion of Dolly Par­ton’s

9 To 5, is com­ing to terms with the pas­sage of time.

Dis­cussing the up­com­ing West End pro­duc­tion, the 54-yearold, pic­tured, jok­ily ex­plains on Ra­dio Two: “You know what’s so aw­ful? They’ve turned around and said ‘this is a pe­riod piece set in the 1980s’. I’ve got clothes that are that old!”

HOL­LY­WOOD star Jane Fonda, 81, these days ap­pear­ing in sit­com Grace And Frankie, cred­its one-time hus­band Ted Turner for giv­ing her a sense of hu­mour, in­sist­ing: “I don’t have a funny bone, re­ally... what re­ally changed it for me was spend­ing a decade with Ted, who is hys­ter­i­cally funny and over the top. I got fun­nier be­cause of Ted.”

She and me­dia mogul Turner (Fonda’s third and, to date, last spouse) mar­ried in 1991, di­vorc­ing 10 years later. Re­la­tions re­main af­fec­tion­ate be­tween the pair how­ever, with the ac­tress de­scrib­ing him as her “favourite ex-hus­band”.

MEAN­WHILE, chirpy pre­sen­ter Gyles Bran­dreth, 70, is re­minded of his own ad­vanc­ing years, tweet­ing: “A man on the bus told a woman to give me her seat. ‘He’s not that old,” she protested. ‘He is,’ in­sisted the man, ‘Look at him!’”

Pic­ture: ANDY STENNING

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