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Obese NHS staff criticised in Lords


Obese NHS staff provide a “very poor role model” to patients trying to lose weight, according to a leading doctor.

Baroness Finlay of Llandaff, a former president of the Royal Society of Medicine, said ministers should introduce a “requirement” for all health service employers to “address obesity in their staff at all levels”.

“The staff are often quite severely obese and actually act as a very poor role model to those patients whose obesity should be being addressed,” the independent crossbench peer said at question time in the House of Lords.

Health minister Earl Howe said he was co-chairman of a network within the Department of Health which “draws together employers from a range of sectors to address health in the workplace”.

“It is a tremendously important opportunity to engage employers to realise that it is in their own interests to ensure that their employees enjoy good health and lead healthy lifestyles,” he said.

Labour former minister Lord Foulkes said doctors should be told it did not help “to be critical and condemnatory of those of us who are obese “as that could lead to “depression and other illnesses”.

He added: “It is very important to give encouragement and that is why, I’m glad to say, I’ve been able to lose over a stone in the last month.”

Lord Howe told him: “Not for the first time you are an example to us all.”

He agreed with Lord Foulkes about the way doctors should interact with patients.


Readers' comments (51)

  • I agree, I also think that all politicians should not be corrupt! Mind the glass house Baroness Finlay!!

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  • maybe it's because all we ever get to eat is sweet tea, chocolates and biscuits - why don't our employers provide us with free healthy food and give us time to sit and have a proper break.

    free gym membership would be nice too.

    I assume that all health-care managers, govt ministers, all those who work for regulatory bodies and patient groups are all fit, fake-tanned, healthy and slim. And of course none of these people would ever think of drinking alcohol or smoking, let alone blobbing out in front of the tv with a packet of crisps or a sticky bun.

    they are worried about us looking obese but don't give a toss about the stress we are under.

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  • The Baroness has a point; some of the staff in the trust I work for are morbidly obese including nurses, and the rest of the staff end up doing quite a lot of their work because they physically can't manage it themselves.

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  • Baroness shut up !!!!

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  • We never get biscuits or sweets, lucky if we even get a cuppa!
    It's about time people stopped thinking about the 'freebies' they still expect and take responsibility for their 'own' health and fitness, especially in the current economic climate.

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  • do you really consider a couple of chocolates from a relative whose mum you looked after is a freebie? do you really think a cup of tea is a freebie? Maybe you don't get biscuits or sweets for a reason.

    to the Baroness - nurses smoke, drink, have unprotected sex too - what a terrible bunch we are, big fat lazy lumps of lard who set such a bad example.

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  • Expenses fiddling MP's and Lords represent poor role models in politics. silly old fool

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  • What about all the fat, lazy b*st*rds who sit around collecting obscene amounts of money to spout this kind off shoite? Get rid of the lot of them!

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  • Stop blaming nurses for the dreadful state of the country's health!

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  • Tinkerbell

    witch hunt fat staff now. Couldn't make it up could you.

    Why don't they just burn the lot of us at the stake? What about short staff, overly tall staff, diabetic staff, smokers,smirkers, drinkers (couple of glasses of wine brigade),depressed, euphoric, in fact any kind of problem you may have could be included in not being a 'good role model'. You may still be providing excellent care, be a lovely kind person, working your arse off but F**K that, you're not fit to wear the uniform you bitches.

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