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Wednesday 26 October 2016 Instagram
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NHS staff told to slim down for patients sake

NHS staff told to slim down for patients sake

NHS staff told to slim down for patients sake

Overweight nurses and doctors should be told to lose weight in order to set a good example for patients, according to NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens. 

Unhealthy food options like burgers and chips would be removed from staff canteens, with staff taking part in weight loss competitions under new plans being considered by NHS England. 

The newspaper claims that 700,000 of the 1.3 million staff working in the health service are either overweight or obese. 

Stevens’ proposals would see more gyms built, NHS sites to be made cycle-friendly, and prizes such as pedometers offered to staff who lose weight. 

He told the Sun: “It’s hard for the NHS to talk about how important this is if we don’t get our own act together. I think the NHS has got to take an example in helping our own staff and hopefully other employers will follow suit. 

“A lot of the food in hospital canteens, not just for patients, but for staff, is chips and burgers.

“What’s great about the NHS can’t excuse what needs to change about the NHS. That is the approach that we have got to take. We’ve got to support people doing great things, nurses, doctors, the frontline of healthcare. But we’ve also got to raise our game.”

Across England, three-quarters of people aged 45-74 are either overweight or obese, recent figures show. 

Young adults are the only age group who have a normal average body mass index, the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) figures show. 


I do think it a very good idea that Health Professionals lead by example. After returning to nursing 3 years ago I have chosen the route of Practice Nursing in Primary Care, having historically working in Secondary Care.
However, encouraging staff to join a gym is not practically possible due to the shift pattern staff work and the gym fees. It would be far more sensible to encourage staff to form walking and running groups where they have the option of doing such activities at a time convenient and free of charge.
We also need to look at the relationship people have with food and changing the thought patterns such as used in CBT techniques. Some people are quite happy being overweight and may not wish to change. We therefore need to put more resources into talking therapies which the Government are always "banging on" about. Sadly these resources are extremely limited. Its all about "sharing responsibility" about the health decisions we make for ourselves whether we are health professionals or the general public. I could go on but think you get the idea.

What a cheek, since when did the Sun take over as health experts for the country?

Simon Stevens should be supporting nurses and other front line staff, not using the Sun to beat us with a big stick and make us feel worse than we already do, especially with the NMC hike that we have to pay just to go to work.

The reason many of us are overweight, is lack of adequate breaks to eat a balanced diet, eating late in the shift, swapping from one unsocial shift to another, overwork and lack of staff to cover us for breaks, etc. This coupled with trying to keep body and soul together, raise a family and keep a home and marriage going.

He aught to try running around a ward for hours on end with little more than a glass of water for sustenance. When we eventually have 5 mins to eat something, (rare), we are not able to go to the restaurant, wait in the restaurant, queue with the public, choose a healthy salad, queue to pay, sit down and eat it; he may just resort to wolfing down anything quick to keep him going like the rest of us have to.

We dont need a pedometer as a "prize," we can buy them cheaply in Tesco. We know that we walk more in a shift than he does walking around his office all month.

He should be raising his game and looking at issues that are important to the front line staff. He should be telling the Sun to clean up its own act before turning on people who enter healthcare and nursing to help and care for other people.

Maybe getting rid of bare breasted thong clad girls on page 3 would be a start. Whether I am overweight or not is not going to make a blind bit of difference to smoking, beer swigging, leching males.

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