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Advice from NICE aims to improve commissioning of services for weight management before, during and after pregnancy

NICE has today (31st March 2011) published a commissioning guide on weight management before, during and after pregnancy. One of a series of good practice guides to support commissioners in designing services to improve outcomes for patients and to help the NHS make better use of its resources, the NICE commissioning guide draws on recent NICE public health guidance on dietary interventions and physical activity interventions for weight management before, during and after pregnancy.

As well as carrying significant health risks for the mother, obesity in pregnancy can also be costly for the NHS when complications arise in pregnancy, during delivery and following childbirth. The proportion of obese women in England is increasing and around half of women of childbearing age are overweight or obese. If interventions for weight management before, during and after pregnancy are successful, there are potential cost savings through avoidance of complications during pregnancy.

Illustrated with examples from the NHS, the NICE commissioning guide identifies the potential benefits and savings from effectively commissioning for weight management before, during and after pregnancy including:

  • reducing morbidity and mortality by reducing obesity-related complications before, during and after pregnancy
  • reducing the costs associated with obesity-related complications before, during and after pregnancy
  • increasing referrals by raising awareness among healthcare professionals of the health benefits of weight management, and the risks of being overweight or obese before, during and after pregnancy
  • raising awareness before pregnancy of the health benefits of weight management and the risks of being overweight or obese.

The commissioning guide contains:

  • An indicative benchmark for the number of women who are obese and who will become pregnant each year, which is estimated to be 5.3% of women aged 16-44.
  • A commissioning and benchmarking tool which commissioners can use to determine local service levels needed for the provision of weight management before, during and after pregnancy.

Yana Richens OBE, Consultant Midwife Public Health, University College London Hospitals NHS Trust, and member of the topic-specific Advisory Group which developed the guide, said: “Obesity is one of the most common causes of pregnancy-related morbidity and mortality in England. There is evidence that developing weight management services for women before, during and after pregnancy can reduce the risk of complications in pregnancy and during childbirth. The purpose of this guide is to ensure that high quality services are commissioned, not just to improve outcomes for women and children, but also to enable commissioners to take a critical look at whether the treatments and interventions they currently commission actually add value, and where resources could be released or savings made.”

While the commissioning guide draws on existing NICE recommendations, it does not constitute formal NICE guidance and is intended as a tool to help the NHS improve patient care through effective commissioning of services.

Ends

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Notes to Editors

About the commissioning guide

1. The NICE guide on commissioning services for weight management before, during and after pregnancy is available on the NICE website at www.nice.org.uk/guidance/CMG36

2. The guide is the one of two commissioning guides published by NICE in March 2011, the other being:

  • Services for the early identification and management of chronic kidney disease in adults

3. Details of all the NICE commissioning guides published to date can be found on the NICE website at http://www.nice.org.uk/usingguidance/commissioningguides/bytopic.jsp

About NICE

4. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is the independent organisation responsible for providing national guidance and standards on the promotion of good health and the prevention and treatment of ill health.

5. NICE produces guidance in three areas of health:

  • public health - guidance on the promotion of good health and the prevention of ill health for those working in the NHS, local authorities and the wider public and voluntary sector
  • health technologies - guidance on the use of new and existing medicines, treatments, medical technologies (including devices and diagnostics) and procedures within the NHS
  • clinical practice - guidance on the appropriate treatment and care of people with specific diseases and conditions within the NHS

6. NICE produces standards for patient care:

  • quality standards - these reflect the very best in high quality patient care, to help healthcare practitioners and commissioners of care deliver excellent services
  • Quality and Outcomes Framework - NICE develops the clinical and health improvement indicators in the QOF, the Department of Health scheme which rewards GPs for how well they care for patients

7. NICE provides advice and support on putting NICE guidance and standards into practice through its implementation programme, and it collates and accredits high quality health guidance, research and information to help health professionals deliver the best patient care through NHS Evidence.

This page was last updated: 30 March 2011

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Accessibility | Cymraeg | Freedom of information | Vision Impaired | Contact Us | Glossary | Data protection | Copyright | Disclaimer | Terms and conditions

Copyright 2014 National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. All rights reserved.