My role



Obesity: reaching men 'not rocket science'

Obesity Breakout Session - chaired by Gillian Mayo, Department of Health

MHF policy officer David Wilkins introduced the topic of gender and obesity.

Paul Deemer of NHS Employers asked whether BMI was a flawed method of measuring obesity. He also pointed out that he has never been weighed by his GP.

There was a discussion on the amount and quality of gendered health data. Gillian Mayo said that disaggregated data on age and disability was very important, and that Hugh Taylor, the DH's Permanent Secretary, was establishing a national data monitoring group to consider the issue. Victoria Walsh of Asthma UK said that it was sometimes difficult to get this information from the DH.

David Wilkins gave an overview as to how the Duty will work and who it will affect. He said that it could lead to a major change in the way services are planned and provided.

Gordon Mead of AS Biss gave an example of an eating disorder clinic which was successful in targeting more men. MHF CEO Peter Baker called for this, and similar examples, to be published by the DH to show that delivering gender-sensitive health services "isn't rocket science". He also pointed out how many more men have been screened for chlamydia after the MHF campaigned on the issue.

Bob Laventure of the BHF National Centre for Physical Activity and Health said that it might be helpful for PCTs to have a checklist on how to implement the Duty.

Peter Baker asked whether the QoF should take the Duty into account. Paul Deemer said that this would be a good way to provide an incentive to GPs.

Gordon Mead said that the NHS has been issued with an instruction notice by the Commission for Racial Equality and that the Disability Right Commission is investigating the DH and the NHS. This showed just how seriously the DH takes these issues.

James Woodhouse, Roche Products plc asked what impact the Duty would have on charities. Gordon Mead said that the DH's message was that they should "get on board".

Victoria Walsh said that the definition of a public service was still problematic. The EOC stated that an organisation is providing a public service when it would otherwise be carried out by the state. However, in many cases it wasunlikely that the state would provide the service that it funded the charity to provide should the charity stop providing it. It was agreed that, ultimately, the definition will be set by the Courts.

Peter Baker asked whether the DH would produce guidance on how the Duty would affect Section 64 funding. Gordon Mead agreed to raise this with the EOC and the DH.

Page created on April 3rd, 2007

Page updated on December 1st, 2009