Cumbria Crack
Health

NHS weight management service goes digital in Allerdale

Keswick & Solway ICC team

A lifestyle based weight management programme has turned digital to help local people in Allerdale with their health goals during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Chance to Change is a 12 week lifestyle based weight management programme run by North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust. It aims to actively help people achieve their health and weight loss goals.

Challenges brought about due to coronavirus restrictions meant that the service which would usually be face to face, was briefly put on hold whilst the team who run the service looked at other options of how they could deliver the programme, including an online service.

Sarah Weaver, Nutritionist, is also part of the Chance to Change Team and has been involved in setting up the digital service, she said:

“It was really difficult for our service when the pandemic hit, it threw a few challenges at us! We had always delivered a face to face service in Wigton hospital but because of the restrictions we could no longer do this, so we decided we needed to develop a digital service to make sure anyone doing the Chance to Change programme could still complete it, albeit online!”

The Chance to Change programme supports individuals who want to improve and achieve health and weight loss goals by coordinating a 12 week programme of activities. This includes, exercise classes, nutrition education and one to one consultations.

Sarah adds: “It is great that we’re up and running online, we are now currently running live group exercise classes twice a week and we are also providing nutrition education content digitally for those doing the programme.

“We also run fortnightly one to one consultations with highly experienced weight management staff via a digital consultation. These one to one sessions include increased time to reflect back on the educational content and also plan with individuals how they are going to put agreed actions in to place throughout their weight loss journey. This tailored individualised approach is consistent throughout the remote delivery.”

The service is now developing a digital platform for the delivery of the educational content, and the idea is to continue to use for the future on a larger scale. This would allow patients to access education content in their own time, and also in their preferred learning style.

So far individuals who have completed the digital weight management pathway, have shown positive results, with average weekly weight loss per patient of 0.36kg, and overall average weight loss at the end of the 12 week programme of 6kg from point of first contact.

Alison Kitson, Community and ICC Operational Lead for Keswick and Solway, said: “We are constantly striving to develop new initiatives that meet the needs of our practice population and this is a great example of the great things happening in Keswick and Solway ICC. The team have taken the pandemic as an opportunity to develop and in turn this has strengthened our resilience and determination to provide the very best care, treatment and support for our patients.

“Currently this service is only available to those registered with a GP in the Keswick and Solway areas but we are hoping that in the future we will be able to deliver it to more people in the north of the county.”

If members of the public in the Allerdale area would like to have more information or a chat about the service please email: [email protected].