Almost two thirds of adults in Essex are living with obesity or are currently overweight, but one local weight management programme provider has been recognised with a national award for its innovative approach to tackling the obesity challenge.
MoreLife was crowned Primary Care Network, GP and Community Provider of the Year at a virtual awards ceremony for the Health Service Journal (HSJ) Awards for its work in tackling health inequalities and providing life-changing programmes across East Anglia.
The HSJ Awards which are recognised as the most esteemed accolade of healthcare service excellence in the UK saw over 4,500 health and social care professionals in attendance this year, in addition to some recognisable faces such as Sir Lenny Henry who hosted the awards on the night, and Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London.
Commissioned by West and South Essex CCGs, MoreLife runs free 12-month weight management programmes aimed at providing individuals with the knowledge, insight, and motivation to take better care of their health.
In 2020 MoreLife supported over 625 adults to lose weight, partnering with GPs and local organisations to build awareness and referrals for those most in need of the free service.
Dr Mahmud, GP Partner at Churchview Surgery and Jones Family Practice, has referred hundreds of patients living with diabetes and struggling with their weight to join the MoreLife programme.
He said “By reaching out to our patients and offering the MoreLife programme we have been able to achieve life changing outcomes that couldn’t be delivered with my medical advice alone.
“In the healthcare environment it is so important that organisations work together. I hope that the award win will give more confidence for Essex GPs to proactively work with MoreLife and help tackle this obesity challenge.”
The award entry highlighted how MoreLife had swiftly adapted its services from face-to-face to virtual during the pandemic, while continuing to achieve positive outcomes for clients.
Weekly online group sessions were delivered by a specialist team of practitioners covering topics such as eating habits, portion control, sleep and stress management.
Harlow-based Nigel Powell, who suffers from kidney disease, lost over 6 and a half stone during the 12-month programme, and significantly improved his kidney function as a result.
Nigel said: “It was difficult to accept how much my weight was negatively affecting my health, but by acknowledging it and then taking part in the MoreLife weight management programme it has truly saved my life! I’m now a lot more confident in managing my diet, which has been particularly helpful during Covid-19 as with panic buying there was less choice at the local supermarkets. The old me might have reverted to unhealthy options, but now I am more aware of the healthy choices available.”
The achievements of MoreLife’s subsidiary company OneLife Suffolk was also celebrated, with 13,000 wellbeing calls during the pandemic to support those most in need of its Stop Smoking, Weight Management and other healthy lifestyle programmes.
Paul Gately, CEO at MoreLife said, “Being recognised in this way, during an extraordinary year with the pandemic is a credit to all of the hard work our staff in Essex and across the company put in to deliver the best outcomes for our clients.
I would like to thank all of our partners in Essex who help refer those in need of this proven service and we hope to use this platform as the start of our long-lasting legacy to further improve our offering to residents.”