NNUH to open new specialist clinics for severely obese children

Extra clinics to deliver intensive support for severely obese children and young people are to be delivered by a team from the Jenny Lind Children’s Hospital at NNUH.

Our Trust has been chosen to run one of 15 new specialist clinics set up by the NHS in England.

Dozens of children a year, who are aged between two and 18 and experiencing health complications related to severe obesity, will be supported through the new service. Children will receive specialist treatment and tailored care packages developed with their family, which could include diet plans, mental health treatment and coaching.

Group sessions will be provided with a full clinical team, including support from dietitians, psychologists, specialist nurses, social workers, youth workers and a paediatrician to ensure all health needs of each child are met.

Dr Emma Webb, Consultant Paediatrician at the Jenny Lind Children’s Hospital, said: “We are really pleased we have been selected to provide this service, this means we will be able to deliver a broader range of care for patients, offer more care closer to where patients live and provide more individualised care. We are recruiting at the moment and hope to run the new clinics early next year.”

Obesity affects one in five children in the UK and can increase the likelihood of a child developing serious health issues such as diabetes, liver conditions and early heart disease.

Latest data shows that one fifth of children aged 10-11 are obese and 14.1% are overweight in England.

Children who are severely obese can also develop difficulties such as breathing problems, sleep issues and mental health problems, which can dramatically impact their quality of life.

Early action can prevent long term health problems such as diabetes, heart attacks, strokes and even cancer, which is better for patients and the NHS.

The rollout delivers on the NHS Long Term Plan ambition to treat children for severe complications related to their obesity, avoiding the need for more invasive treatment.

Amanda Pritchard, chief executive of the NHS in England said: “We know that obesity increases the risk posed by Covid-19 but many people, including children, have gained weight during the pandemic.

“Left unchecked, obesity can have other very serious consequences, ranging from diabetes to cancer.

“This early intervention scheme aims to prevent children and young people enduring a lifetime of ill-health.

“The NHS Long Term Plan committed to take more action to help children and young people with their physical and mental health and these new services are a landmark moment in efforts to help them lead longer, healthier and happier lives.”