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Gold, incentives and meh

GPs ‘should tackle obesity in practice staff’

GPs would be required to reduce obesity in their staff, under proposals from a peer that have been backed by ministers.

Former president of the Royal Society of Medicine, Baroness Finlay of Llandaff, suggested all employers in the NHS should ensure their staff were good role models for patients.

During the debate in the House of Lords, health minister Earl Howe said Baroness Findlay had raised an important point and he wanted employers to tackle the issue.

Cross bencher Baroness Finlay said:  ‘Are the Government considering including in commissioning from health service employers a requirement to address obesity in their staff at all levels, given that the staff are often quite severely obese and act as a very poor role model for those patients whose obesity should be addressed?’

Earl How replied: ‘Dame Carol Black and I chair a network within the responsibility deal in the Department of Health which draws together employers from a range of sectors  to address health in the workplace.

‘It is a tremendously important opportunity if we can engage good employers to realise that it is in their direct interest to ensure that their employees enjoy good health and lead healthy lifestyles.’

 Dr George Rae, chief executive of North Tyneside LMC, said the comments were ‘ absolutely insulting’ and should not be taken seriously.

Readers' comments (14)

  • I do think it important for GPs, as employers to promote a healthy life style, but I despair that someone thinks we already don't have enough hoops to jump through!!!
    You can see the headlines about a GP cautioning an employee for being too fat!

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  • Let common sense prevail

    Is it April 1st already? Or has the world really gone completely bonkers?

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  • page 8 of the mandate; but to be fair it only talks about the NHS as an employer.

    So we get back to the chestnut about independent conractor status......

    but then you can talk about pots and kettles and their respective colours and the moral argument of talking to patients and asking them to do something you may not obviosuly do....

    big circles.

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  • How can we maintain a "healthy lifestyle" when working 12 hour days, most of which is sedentary with multiple time pressures. I used to be fit and healthy. I have been a partner for 4 years but I feel like I have aged 14 years at least in that time. This job is ruining my life and health-I have had to sacrifice my health for the greater good. I just hope somebody gains from all this self-sacrifice.

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  • Tom Caldwell

    Eric Pickles will presumably bring down the Government then?

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  • I assume this means the NHS in return will have responsibilities to ensure GP partners are given the resource and support to lead a healthy lifestyle :)?

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  • I can see the future of QOF - 10 house points for
    staff and GPs with a BMI < 25.
    What a ludicrous idea that as an employer we should have the right to tell people to lose weight!

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  • Hazel Drury

    Apart from being ludicrous in itself, is there really much evidence out there to suggest a BMI of 30 is that dangerous? Funny how we are all living longer despite the average BMI increasing in the Western World??

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  • 1) How many fat Biafrans have you ever met?
    2) They (Biafrans) have the longest life-expectancy in the World?
    BUT
    3) Japanese men have an average life expectancy of 79.34 years
    4) Sumo Wrestlers have a life expectancy of 63.7 years - nearly 16 years less than their average countrymen

    What does all this mean? Blowed if I know. Granny said eat a balanced diet and exercise moderation. There is no pill that contains common sense. If there was I would administer it a lot - especially to those who come up with these hair-brained ideas.

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  • To anonymous: “I have had to sacrifice my health for the greater good. I just hope somebody gains from all this self-sacrifice.”
    At least you don’t have to do a 12 hour night shift on a factory line for minimum wage because you weren’t privileged enough to get a place a university. Presumably you gain from all of the “self-sacrifice” or do you work for free?

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