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NHS weight loss scheme pilot success

A weight loss pilot project that pays NHS patients to lose weight could be rolled out to the public once results have been evaluated.

The scheme, Weight Wins, pays hundreds of pounds and early trials received an "overwhelming" response, said the programme founder.

Weight Wins offers individuals up to £1,750 over two years to encourage them to lose weight as millions of people start new year diets.

Payments to dieters range between £80 and £1,750, depending upon plan length and difficulty, and on the fee level selected.

Patients and nurses at Eastern and Coastal Kent Primary Care Trust are testing the pilot.

Under the basic scheme, the dieter pays a one-off registration £45 fee and a monthly rate of £10. A higher plan costs £90 registration with a £20 monthly payment.

Earlier trial results showed an average weight loss of two stone after 12 months, said founder Walter Rossiter.

Andy Scott-Clark, Deputy Director of Public Health for NHS Eastern and Coastal Kent, said: "When we have completed the pilot in February 2010 we will carry out a full evaluation and make an announcement."

Eastern and Coastal Kent Primary Care Trust