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GP calls for slimming clubs on prescription

Dr Julie Parsons has called for the NHS to subsidise GP referrals to commercial slimming schemes after her practice was involved in a successful pilot.

Two practices in Greater Derby PCT referred more than 100 patients with a body mass index of 30 or over to Slimming World. The scheme was jointly funded by Southern Derbyshire health authority and Slimming World.

More than two-thirds completed a 12-week course and 37 per cent a further 12 weeks at their own expense. Mean weight loss was 6.4 per cent in 12 weeks and 11.3 per cent in 24 weeks.

Dr Parsons said the course was less expensive for the NHS than anti-obesity drugs and popular with low-income patients. She said 'We'd like to see this introduced properly, though would have reservations about only using one organisation.'

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