NHS releases booklet on new digital weight management kit

NHS England has released a booklet containing more information on its new Digital Weight Management Kit. 

In addition to the guidance published online, a new dedicated webpage has been created to provide more information for healthcare professionals and members of the public.  

To be eligible for the services, users must be over 18 years old, have a BMI of 30 or above, and have a diagnosis of either diabetes (type 1 or type 2) or hypertension. 

The kit offers three levels of support; ‘digital-only’, ‘digital with human coaching’, and ‘digital with human coaching plus’.  

The three levels of support include: 

  • Digital only – access to digital content only. Intended for people with characteristics suggesting they are less likely to require coaching support and more likely to support their own health and wellbeing.  
  • Digital with human coaching – access to digital content, plus access to a minimum of 50 minutes of human coaching. Intended for people who may be less likely to successfully complete a weight management programme, and who may benefit from additional human coaching.  
  • Digital with human coaching plus – access to digital content, as well as a minimum of 100 minutes of human coaching, plus additional features such as supported introduction to the programme, challenges and games. Intended for people who may be least likely to successfully complete a weight management programme and who, therefore, require a more personalised and supported journey with intensive human support. 

General Practice teams initiate the referral process for these services in the first instance, and NHS England and Improvement have created a front-end referral hub that will then allocate users to one of the three levels of support. 

Users are contacted via text message and asked to verify details such as their date of birth and ethnicity, before being automatically directed to the NHS Digital Weight Management Referral Hub, which then allows them to choose a provider for their support. A referral centre will contact anyone who does not respond to the initial text and will help them through the sign-up process.  

Demographic factors will play a role in which type of support a service user requires, with a triage tool considering their age group, sex, ethnicity, and level of socioeconomic deprivation.

To reach eligible participants in the programme, GP teams are encouraged to reach out to their community, search local databases for those who are eligible, put up posters in patient-facing areas of their practice, and publish information on their website.  

Find out more by visiting the NHS toolkit, here.