Obesity: Are current needs being met?
Given the prevalence above and the increasing trend, the assumption must be that current needs are not being met.
The obesity review supported by the Regional Office in October 2010 provided an independent assessment of progress on the healthy weight agenda locally. This was generally positive, the main findings highlighted that:
· Many staff across organisational workforces are not recognising that tackling obesity is part of their role (even those whose role is within physical activity). A ‘Making Every Contact Count’ programme is being devised to ensure that workforces will be better skilled in raising the issue and signposting to appropriate interventions. This is one of 3 pilots across Yorkshire and Humber.
· The need to ensure obesity was progressed within the emerging structures. The LSP has previously been engaged in ensuring obesity is highlighted across organisations. It is anticipated that the obesity agenda will form part of the emerging health and well being strategy.
· The review also highlighted the lack of progress in ensuring vitamin uptake amongst women and children within the Healthy Start programme. This is being addressed through provider contracts and will be monitored.
· The review also included the issue of NCMP data robustness, again this has been addressed within provider contracts. The reviewers felt we could then make better use of the data. An obesity briefing paper is planned for stakeholders & the public.
· The reviewers were impressed by the local leadership, our strategy, partnership working, enthusiasm and expressed commitment. The risks to delivery were highlighted in particular the reliance on short term funding to support the delivery of the target. These risks have been fed into the business planning process.
· The reviewers also recognised our good practice demonstrated by breastfeeding, the LAA adult weight management target, workplace health & health champions and we are encouraged to share this.
· The family approach which is central to the obesity strategy was endorsed e.g. the links childhood obesity had with change 4 life community fund project and the adult weight management services. The review picked up the positives from stakeholders about having a Healthy Towns brand (to help avoid confusion) and being able to test out approaches which we are encouraged to share. The Programme is currently being evaluated and a dissemination event is planned.
· The review has led to the establishment of a local obesity network across Calderdale involving key stakeholders. This will be responsible for driving through the key issues and escalating to any appropriate forums. The reviewers suggested that in the lack of national evidence, we would need to strike a balance between proven results and being brave.