NHS Tayside : Child Weight Management [Final Report]

Brooks, Elizabeth and Bruce, Angela and Smith, Paul and Binnie, Catriona and Lazcano-Ross, Paola and Stengs, Grant (2021) NHS Tayside : Child Weight Management [Final Report]. Digital Health & Care Institute, Glasgow.

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NHS Tayside are in the process of reviewing the Child Healthy Weight Service (CHWS) offered by the board and have commissioned the Digital Health and Care Innovation Centre to map the current offering and carry out engagement to explore current challenges and possible service innovations. All engagement was moved from the initial intention of face to face to virtual with interviews and a workshop and focus group being successfully carried out over MS Teams with a a broad range of stakeholders involved. It was obvious from the level of engagement that both the professionals involved in the service and partners working with children in different roles see this work as vitally important for the future. The need for prevention and early intervention was consistently highlighted by stakeholders together with the lack of weight measurement data in children and the challenge of evidencing success. In addition a number of themes emerged which fell into the three broad categories of the Referrals process, the Service itself and suggested overarching improvements. Referral: Several challenge areas around the referral to CHWS process were highlighted including the complexity involved in individuals with multiple referrals and the challenge of sharing information between those services. The challenge of having conversations around healthy weight and the importance of the family’s readiness and family environment were all noted as areas which could be focused on. There was also discussion around eligibility for the service (Tier 2 and 3). Service: Three main areas were discussed in the delivery of the service. These included the need to better coordinate interdepartmental relationships and pathways, the need for a family based interventions and focus on prevention and early identification of unhealthy weight. Improvements: The improvements discussed included additional materials and support for allied organisations prior to referral. This could be used in some cases instead of a referral to the service. Clear consistent messaging would support this activity and ensure a unified coordinated approach. An agreement on fuller information on a child’s story prior to referral would help CHWS once the referral has been made. DHI are currently working on digital solutions for weight management in general and would be open to collaboration and sharing of findings with NHS Tayside going forward.