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Obesity services

Our services A-Z

Obesity is the medical term for having too much fat stored in your body for good health. When people gain weight through a ‘positive energy balance’, that is more energy (food and drink) coming into the body than is being spent through activity and exercise, the surplus energy is stored mainly in fat cells that are present throughout the body. Nothing has to ‘go wrong’ for this process to happen.

Urgent advice: Covid-19 - Obesity

If you need to contact the team for information, please leave a message on 01223 348124 and we will respond to your call as soon as is possible or consider emailing the obesity service team.

In light of coronavirus (COVID-19) we have made the following adjustments to our upcoming clinics in order to limit footfall through the hospital and to offer you some protection by keeping you at home as much as is possible .

All routine obesity appointments clinics have been replaced with the option of both video or  telephone consultations.

Please keep your clinic appointment time free, and you will be called within a three hour window of your original appointment time.

We are asking for patients to get clinical measures for example weight, BP and blood tests undertaken at the hospital or at your GP surgery depending on location. If you are asked to come to the hospital you will be allocated a time slot to ensure socially distanced measures are retained at all times.

Screening for coronavirus will NOT be undertaken by the Obesity Clinic. It is undertaken via the NHS 111 service.

We thank you for your patience during this time; we will update you all when new information is available.

Please otherwise take time to read the guidance on the NHS 111 website in relation to the COVID-19 infection and on the GOV.UK website about the latest guidance in order to protect both yourself and others from COVID-19.

Information for patients

Is there a criteria for our service?

To attend our specialist service you need to have one of the following:

  • BMI > 40 kg/m2
  • BMI > 35kg/m2 with weight related co-morbidities, for example, high blood pressure, Obstructive Sleep Apnoea, Type 2 Diabetes
  • BMI > 35 kg/m2 and Type 2 Diabetes (BMI> 32.5 kg/m2 for Asian population)
  • An obese individual with complex needs who has not responded to Tier 2 interventions

If you meet our criteria, how can you be referred?

If you live in Cambridgeshire your GP can refer you to your local Tier 2 Service. Our Tier 2 Service will triage your referral and may offer interventions locally before referring you to our Tier 3 Service.

We are happy to accept referrals no matter where you live. However, your Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is responsible for controlling the local health budget and has to decide on the priorities for your community. It is therefore your local CCG who must agree to fund your treatment with us before we can see you. Your GP will have more information about what agreements are in place for your area.

If you think you require an assessment, treatment and support from our clinic and live outside of Cambridgeshire, your first step would be to approach your GP. Your GP will conduct an assessment and will be able to determine if you would benefit from attending our clinic. There may be support and treatment that your GP can refer you to in the community before considering a referral to our service.

At your first appointment you will be called by one of the clinic nurses to have your weight, height, neck circumference and blood pressure taken. You may also be asked to provide a urine sample.

You will then be seen by one of the multi-disciplinary team who will complete a thorough assessment on you. This is an important appointment as we will be trying to investigate why you have gained weight and how your weight affects you. We also want to understand what you may have tried already to lose weight.

You will have some blood tests taken at this visit as some of the tests are not readily available outside of Addenbrooke’s Hospital.

After our assessment is completed, we will have an idea of how our service can help you. This will be discussed in a multi-disciplinary team meeting which we hold twice a week.

Our multi-disciplinary team meeting is an opportunity to discuss patient cases to determine the best weight management plan for you on an individual basis. We strongly believe that you, the patient, are the centre of the team and we need you to be committed to working with us to achieve the best possible results.

We offer a range of treatment options which we will discuss with you, and we will offer you an option which best suits your needs. Some of our treatments are done on a one-to-one basis and some in a group setting.

The majority of our treatment programmes take place in the hospital setting but there are opportunities in some cases to be seen in the community setting.

Unfortunately, in some cases despite a person wanting to lose weight, it may not always be the right time for them. Embarking on a weight management programme which is unsuccessful can be detrimental to a person’s confidence and hamper future weight loss attempts.

Patient support links

Live Well (opens in a new tab)

NHS website for advice, tips and tools to help you make the best choices about your health and well-being

Change4Life (opens in a new tab)

NHS website for advice, tips and support for the family to make healthy lifestyle changes

Couch to 5km (opens in a new tab)

A week-by-week description of the 9-week set of Couch to 5km.  Each week involves three runs.   

British Heart Foundation (opens in a new tab)

Charity which researches into cause, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of heart and circulatory diseases.  Information leaflets available on their website

Diabetes UK (opens in a new tab)

A patient, health-care professional and research charity that cares for, connects with and campaigns of behalf of people affected and at risk of diabetes.

National Obesity Forum (opens in a new tab)

A charity which raises awareness of Obesity in the UK and promotes ways in which it can be addressed.

Association for the Study of Obesity (opens in a new tab)

This group has a membership of scientists, medical and health professionals and run training meetings, conferences and produces newsletters.

British Obesity and Metabolic Surgery Society (BOMSS) (opens in a new tab)

This is professional society of surgeons involved in obesity management.  BOMSS aims to promote the development of high quality centres for obesity surgery, to educate and train future obesity surgeons and to guide commissioning and policy for the use of obesity surgery. 

Weight Loss (opens in a new tab)

A comprehensive NHS resource offering information and support on weight loss surgery.

BMI Can Do It (opens in a new tab)

Are you up for the challenge? No matter what your age or fitness level, our challenges are designed for everyone to get involved. Why not challenge your family or your workmates to take on one of our fun challenges and make positive health changes today?

How to find us

We are located in Clinic 32 - the Wolfson Diabetes and Endocrine Clinic – on the ground floor of the Addenbrooke’s Treatment Centre.

CUH Directions mobile app

The CUH Directions mobile app is for patients and visitors.

It helps you to find your way around Addenbrooke’s and the Rosie hospitals, making it easier to locate clinics, wards and other facilities on our campus.

CUH Directions – mobile app

Information for health professionals

As a team we firmly believe in working with other health professionals to ensure patients with obesity receive the highest quality, evidence based and clinically effective care.

We are happy to discuss your needs and where possible work with you to fulfil these.

Please contact our obesity secretary should you wish to discuss your individual or team needs.

Meet the team

Our service offers the opportunity to see various specialists who work together to ensure patients get the best treatment safely.  These specialists together are known as the multi-disciplinary team.  This team has chosen to specialise in the field of obesity and weight management and understand the difficulties faced by people who carry excess weight. 

Our team

Dr Adrian Park            
Consultant physician (obesity lead)

Dr Anita Sarker          
Consultant physician

Dr Caroline Mcarthur            
Clinical psychologist

Kirsten Matschull          
Clinical nurse specialist

Rebecca George                     
Clinical nurse specialist 

Susan Ginn                 
Specialist nurse

Gill Hurst
Specialist nurse

Joanna Hoensch            
Advanced specialist dietitian 

Rebecca Fahey                     
Advanced specialist dietitian

Tak-Wai Ho                
Specialist dietitian

Sophie Clayson            
Specialist dietitian 

Ellen Wilbur
Specialist dietitian

Rebecca Richards
Obesity services administrator

Alexis Hurry
Obesity services administrator