Pharmacies have played both a direct and indirect role in helping customers with weight management, either as a private service, as a locally commissioned service or as part of the NHS contract through health promotion campaigns or Healthy Living Pharmacy. A number of pharmacies have recently included prescription medicines on a patient group direction (PGD), such as liraglutide, alongside traditional dietary support services, supplements or meal replacement products as part of an extended pharmacy weight management service. Keep reading to learn more about our free weight loss programme course.
This course explains how a community pharmacy can deliver a pharmacy weight management service and how it can be effectively promoted to patients by the whole pharmacy team.
Weight Management is the latest course in the Sell Your Service series.
What’s the overall aim of the free weight loss programme course?
This course defines how a community pharmacy may provide a weight management service and how the entire team can effectively market it to patients.
- Recognise the objectives and advantages of a weight management service.
- Look for opportunities to discuss this with patients.
- Be able to convince patients to use the service.
What’s the duration?
You should spend about 20 minutes doing this course. If you want to read more about the topic, there are optional additional resources at the completion of the course to further your learning.
Why is the free weight loss programme course important?
Through health promotion initiatives or Healthy Living Pharmacy, pharmacies have assisted consumers with weight management in both a direct and indirect way, whether as a private business, a locally commissioned service, or as part of the NHS contract. As part of an expanded pharmacy weight management service, a number of pharmacies have recently added prescription medications on a patient group direction (PGD), like liraglutide, along with conventional nutritional assistance services, supplements, or meal replacement products. This course teaches how these services function, the many roles that team members can play, as well as how the service can run efficiently.
Understanding weight management through our free course
Pharmacy weight management services typically feature a variety of offerings and are either privately sponsored or locally commissioned. The goal of weight management services is to assist patients in losing weight in a controlled, healthy manner that can be maintained over the long term.
According to data from the 2019 Health Survey for England, over two-thirds of individuals (60% of men and 60% of women) were overweight or obese as measured by their BMI (BMI).
The statistics are similar even when a different measurement is used, such as waist circumference, which indicates abdominal fat and the corresponding increased health risk. BMI is not a perfect measurement because it does not differentiate between mass because of body fat and mass because of a muscular physique.
- Adult obesity rates rise with age, peaking at 36% of individuals between the ages of 65 and 74 before declining. In the youngest age group, obesity rates were 13%.
- The prevalence of obesity differs significantly between the most and least impoverished areas.
- This is particularly significant in women, where the obesity rate is 39% in the poorest neighbourhoods compared to 22% in the wealthiest neighbourhoods.
What are the risks of an unhealthy weight?
Being overweight carries a number of health hazards, some of which are exacerbated by it. The NHS has highlighted the following as the main health risks:
Additionally, being overweight can lower your quality of life and cause psychological issues like depression, low self-esteem, and restless sleep.
Weight management services as described in our free weight loss programme course
As you now know, the majority of weight management services in the UK are contracted locally or given privately. In order to facilitate the supply of prescription medication, an increasing number of pharmacies now offer privately owned weight management services that are given via PGD. The pharmacist will provide the consultation when a service is delivered through a PGD. However, other aspects of a weight management service may be handled by any member of the pharmacy team who has received the appropriate training.
One of three categories best describes the weight management services offered by pharmacies:
- Advice and support
- Meal and total replacement diets
- Medicated weight loss services
Why is a weight management service important?
Offering a weight management service allows you to provide benefits not only to your patients but also to your pharmacy, your team and the NHS.