36.1 Sue Weaver, Lead Commissioner Health Improvement, gave a detailed presentation of the aims and vision (the statement of strategic intent) underpinning the healthy weight focus of the healthy lifestyles priority within the Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy. She explained that a whole systems approach would be needed to achieve the vision and outlined the methodologies, and the evidence base that could best support delivery of this priority. She highlighted a potential opportunity to collaborate with the World Health Organisation Global Obesity Centre ‘Choose Health Community’ as a test site . (For information the presentation slides were uploaded to the council’s website and included in the minute book.)
36.2 The Board welcomed that the suggested approach reflected the place-based approach already in use in the county, and that it represented a whole systems approach. Board members also endorsed the bolder approach presented but acknowledged that this was a long term plan. The impact of obesity related issues on both the individual and the health system was significant. Aiming to engage as early as possible was the best way forward for everyone. The estimated cost of treating conditions associated with overweight and obesity to the NHS is around £160million (National Institute of Clinical Excellence, NICE) Gloucestershire.
36.3 It was noted that whilst the national agenda prioritises childhood obesity, it was important to tackle obesity early, it was an intergenerational issue. A targeted offer for pregnant women affected by obesity was in place. Weight management programmes for adults already affected by obesity were also important, and were in place locally.
36.4 It was commented that it would be important to ensure that there was robust capacity planning in place across the whole system; including building systems capacity in communities.
36.5 It was also felt that it would be helpful if the potential savings (£160m per annum) could be evidenced. It was noted that the £160m was based on calculations made in 2007, by NICE and updated recently, of the costs of assessing and treating all conditions related to obesity at that time.
36.6 To give context to the potential costs involved in taking this work forward the Board was informed of the work undertaken in Amsterdam (population circa: 1.1m). The level of investment into this work was around €2.8m set up cost, and then €2.5m per annum.
36.7 The Board was informed that particular challenges identified by parents included issues around the local food offer in some communities, managing universal credit and parenting skills. It was acknowledged that the Gloucestershire Moves (www.gloucestershiremoves.org/) initiative with its aim to ‘get Gloucestershire moving’ supported this work.
36.7 Board members were frustrated that in some areas local planners continued to allow fast food outlets in proximity to schools. The Board was informed that the Lead Commissioner (Public Health) has been working with the district councils to develop a planning and health framework. They have been successful in securing support from the University of the West of England (UWE) and the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA) to work with Tewkesbury Borough Council and neighbourhood planning groups to produce guidance for using health evidence to strengthen neighbourhood plans.
36.8 The Board welcomed and supported this work and agreed to delegate leadership to the countywide Prevention and Self-Care Board. They asked for an outline programme plan and an estimate of the resource needs to implement this approach. It was agreed that it would be useful to receive an update on this matter in January 2010.