Health and Social Care Committee – Inquiry into the availability of bariatric services

Patients, nurses, doctors, dieticians, psychologists and GPs recently met with Assembly Members at an event in Cwmbran to discuss the availability of bariatric (a branch of medicine that deals with the causes, prevention, and treatment of obesity) services in Wales, as part of an inquiry which is being held by the National Assembly for Wales’ Health and Social Care Committee: http://www.senedd.assemblywales.org/mgIssueHistoryHome.aspx?IId=8523

The event, which was held at the Best Western Parkway Hotel in Cwmbran, was broken into two sections; four group discussions took place at the same time, followed by a feedback session at the end.

Participants were split into four groups to get a balance of viewpoints on each table. These group discussions were facilitated by Kirsty Williams AM, Elin Jones AM, Lynne Neagle AM and Rebecca Evans AM and focused on five main questions:

– What improvements, if any, could be made to the provision of – and patients’ access to – multidisciplinary teams, and weight management clinics, in Wales?

– Do you think current criteria identifying those who are eligible for bariatric surgery are adequate and appropriate?

– How is a patient’s suitability for bariatric surgery assessed by all relevant clinicians involved in his/her care? What, if any, problems are encountered?

– With regard to the treatment of patients with weight issues, is the level of training, information and support provided to health professionals adequate?

– What effect does weight management intervention or lack thereof, have on the lives of patients?

The group discussions lasted for around an hour, followed by a 45 minute feedback session where a representative from each of the four focus groups fed back what the participants on their tables had said.

A nurse (Nia Eyre), a dietician (Sioned Quirke) and a patient (Pam Bland) all took part in the event, and were part of the same group discussion. To see what they thought of taking part in the event, what they raised in their group, and what they think the Committee should recommend to the Welsh Government, see the video playlist below

A note of the main discussion points from the event was written (Agenda item 5c):
http://www.senedd.assemblywales.org/documents/g1986/Public%20reports%20pack%20Wednesday%2026-Mar-2014%2010.30%20Health%20and%20Social%20Care%20Committee.pdf?T=10, which fed into the Committee’s scrutiny of the Minister about bariatric services on 26 March. You can watch this session online on www.Senedd.tv.

The Committee hopes to produce a report with recommendations to the Welsh Government in May. The conclusions of the focus groups’ discussions will help inform the report and recommendations. You will be able to see the full report here when it has been completed: http://www.senedd.assemblywales.org/mgIssueHistoryHome.aspx?IId=8523

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