Obese NHS patients with diabetes 'could get gastric band'

Obese people who suffer from type 2 diabetes could be offered gastric band surgery on the NHS, according to the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (Nice).

Mixed views about NHS surgery for type 2 diabetics

The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (Nice) says obese people with type 2 diabetes should be considered for gastric band surgery to help suppress their appetite.

Nice says 800,000 more people could be eligible for the procedure.

Although the upfront costs of the operation is around £5,500, a study suggests they could save the NHS money in the long term by reducing the rate of obesity-related conditions.

But some critics say more should be done to stop people becoming overweight in the first place.

ITV News Correspondent Lewis Vaughan Jones reports.

Diabetic obese patient: 'Surgery is not an easy fix'

An obese man with type 2 diabetes has told Good Morning Britain wright loss surgery is "not an easy fix" and if it was introduced more widely on the NHS.

Andrew Reynolds dubbed the surgery "a lifetime commitment" and patients would still have to change their eating habits.

Mr Reynolds, whose family has a history of diabetes, also described the changes he had made to his lifestyle since the diagnosis and said he was actively "looking for hidden sugars" in foods.

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Weight loss surgery can 'reverse diabetes diagnosis'

Weight loss surgery has helped "reverse" a diabetes diagnosis in some patients, according to a health chief.

Professor Mark Baker, director of the Centre for Clinical Practice at Nice, defended guidelines which recommended bariatric surgery to those with a BMI of 30 or above if they also had type 2 diabetes.

Updated evidence suggests people who are obese and have been recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes may benefit from weight loss surgery.

More than half of people who undergo surgery have more control over their diabetes following surgery and are less likely to have diabetes related illness; in some cases surgery can even reverse the diagnosis.

– Professor Mark Baker

Doctor urged not to 'recommend very low calorie diets'

NHS doctors should be "selective" when recommending very-low calorie diets to overweight and obese patients, according to fresh guidelines.

Nice recommends:

  • Very-low calorie diets should only be used when a patient has "a clinical need to lose weight quickly," like impending joint replacement surgery.
  • The draft guideline also recommends that people who have undergone bariatric surgery on the NHS should have a "follow up care package" for at least two years after their operation.
  • In the UK around 2.9 million people have diabetes, with around 90% of cases being type 2.
  • There are also thought to be around 850,000 people with undiagnosed diabetes.

Gastric band 'could be available to obese on NHS'

People with a BMI over 30 could be eligible for drastic weight loss surgery on the NHS, if a radical shake-up of guidelines is accepted.

Read: Diabetes symptoms: What to spot

Obese
Only those with a BMI over 40 have been eligible for gastric band surgery on the NHS. Credit: PA

The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (Nice) has suggested obese people with type 2 diabetes should be assessed for bariatric surgery, such as having a gastric band fitted.

Previously, only those patients deemed severely obese - with a BMI of 40 or above - would get the surgery for free on the NHS.

But now Nice is suggesting that people with a BMI score of 30 to 35 should be considered for an assessment for weight-loss operations on the NHS if they have been diagnosed within the last 10 years.

Hundreds of thousands of people could be eligible for the treatment, as the Government tries to tackle the UK's growing obesity crisis.

Read: British women under 20 'most overweight in Europe'