The £100k cost of obesity

More than a quarter of adults in England are obese.
More than a quarter of adults in England are obese.

WIGAN hospitals have spent almost £100,000 upgrading facilities to cope with a growing number of obese patients in the last three years.

Figures released under the Freedom of Information Act show that Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh (WWL) Trust spent the most out of the five NHS Trusts in the region who responded, with a total of £97,000 going towards equipment for the overweight.

Most of the cash was spent on hiring beds, hoist chairs and commodes that can withstand heavy weights at a cost of £53,558 in 2011/12.

After this the Trust started buying its own bariatric equipment.

Bosses pointed out today that this is only a fraction of its annual outlay on all healthcare.

A trust spokesman said: “WWL is committed to providing the very best standards of treatment and care for our patients while striving at all times to make effective use of NHS resources.

“In 2012/13, WWL spent £40,452 to lease or purchase bariatric beds, hoists, chairs and commodes for obese patients who often present with multiple and complex medical conditions.

“To put the trust’s expenditure into context, the amount represented less than 0.02 per cent of our annual budget in 2012/13.

“Every decision to lease or purchase specialist bariatric equipment is made carefully to ensure the most effective use of NHS funds.

“While costs associated with bariatric equipment do fluctuate, the value obtained from our purchases can be seen by the significant reduction in costs during the first six months of 2013/14 (£3,311) compared to previous years.”

Other hospitals within Greater Manchester spent a total of £167,000 upgrading their facilities for the obese.