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Primary Care Obesity Prevention Action Plan to support implementation of the All Wales Weight Management Pathway

Published: 15 July 2022

A new, Primary Care Obesity Prevention action plan has been launched by Public Health Wales, to support the implementation of the adult All Wales Weight Management Pathway (AWWMP) 2021, in line with the Healthy Weight Healthy Wales Delivery Plan 2022-24. 

The AWWMP focuses on an individual’s weight management journey from early intervention to specialist support and recognises the importance of primary and community care, describing these settings as the first point of contact for people with health and wellbeing concerns.  

The initial two year plan aims to enable primary and community care to support weight management, through a series of four priority aims. 

The first aim will support the ‘person centred’ journey in primary and community care, by helping to: join up care across a person’s life course;, avoid fragmentation of care; strengthen obesity prevention within long term condition management; and consider how better to support equitable access to the AWWMP.  

The second aim focuses on supporting the primary and community workforce to confidently have compassionate weight management conversations, free from stigma or bias, as well as, supporting and enabling the workforce themselves to have a healthy weight and access to weight management as needed. 

The third aim looks to optimise overweight and obesity data usage and digital healthcare technologies, for example, by providing opportunities for people to use accurate, valid self-reported weight/height/BMI in primary and community care conversations, and supporting the development of the NHS Wales app and other quality assured digital resources with the intention of helping primary and community care to help those experiencing overweight or obesity. 

Finally the fourth aim will develop leadership and governance mechanisms to drive implementation of the All Wales Management Pathway in primary and community care, by collaborating with all partners involved, supporting integrated approaches, embedding quality improvement to support person-centred weight management and promoting a culture that supports person-centred weight management e.g. influencing communications to and engagement with the primary and community work force. 

Zoe Wallace, Director of Primary Care at Public Health Wales, said: 

“Primary and community care has a pivotal role in obesity prevention and weight management. As a system we need to support and enable the primary care workforce to effectively fulfil their role in the AWWMP. This initial two year action plan provides a mechanism to improve outcomes, delivered through primary and community care. 

The work has been supported and overseen by a multi-agency Primary Care Obesity Prevention Steering Group. We’d like to thank the Steering Group for their individual and collective contributions to develop this initial two-year action plan, which covers April 2022-24.” 

The ‘Primary Care Obesity Prevention Action Plan (PCOP Action plan), (2022-2024)’ (LINK) has been developed by the Primary and Community Care Development and Innovation Hub at Public Health Wales, building on two reports, developed and published in September 2021 by the Hub, describing the primary care needs of people living with obesity in Wales and behavioural insights from the primary care workforce on supporting weight management. 

Primary and community care encompasses a broad and diverse range of settings and roles, including but not limited to: the four primary care contractors (Community Pharmacy, Community Optometry, Dental Practice, General Practice); allied health professionals; those working in broader community roles e.g. community midwives, health visitors, and district nurses; the non-registered healthcare workforce; and social prescribers.