NHS mental and physical health service restrictions and exercise programs rationing could hamper health initiatives. According to the Royal Society for Public Health people who are dangerously overweight could pay the price for the money-saving efforts of the UK government.
In the RSPH survey of 100 public health officials in the NHS and local councils, about 49 per cent said the weight management programmes have been rationed in the area in the last year. Part of the rationed services include quit-smoking programmes and obesity workouts for overweight Britons.
According to the National Obesity Forum Spokesman Tam Fry:
“To ration nationally agreed weight management programmes is both short-sighted and quite stupid. It could well be unethical if patients’ hope of returning to good health is prejudiced.”
UKactive, a group that promotes physical activity said that rationing exercise referral programmes will make it difficult to follow through for most obese patients. Excutive Director Steven Ward said:
“Being physically active can treat, prevent or manage 20 lifestyle diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease. This is a time for an industrial-scale rollout of services, not for reducing already established services.”
RSPH Chief Executive Shirley Cramer said:
“Our research suggests that funding cuts are beginning to bite and are having a direct impact on frontline services.
“Obesity, which NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens has called ‘the new smoking’, is arguably the number one threat to both the public’s health and our NHS. But people on the frontline are reporting that some of our most effective weapons aimed at tackling this threat, such as exercise referral and weight management services, are being restricted.”