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BOMSS defends bariatric surgery
January 2016

An article – http://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/jan/18/simon-stevens-trying-save-nhs-from-mother-of-messes – quotes Simon Stevens as saying that if the 1.4 million most severely obese people in UK received bariatric surgery it would use up the entire extra £8.2bn the NHS has just been given.

Mr Roger Ackroyd, the president of BOMSS, says: “There is no suggestion – and no capacity – for the NHS to treat this number of people.

The NHS currently spends about £40 million per annum on bariatric surgery. If this was doubled (to 14,000 operations a year) surgeons would be treating just 1% of patients who might benefit and still doing less than half the number done in France (same population as us).

It would only use 0.5% of the £8.2bn of “new” NHS money but, crucially, would enable the NHS to reap enormous savings within a few years of bariatric surgery by significantly curbing costs of treating diabetes, high blood pressure and heart attacks as repeatedly demonstrated by health economists.

Bariatric surgery is safe and effective. It helps give people back their health and quality of life – and reduces social security benefit and healthcare costs.”

Scientific Programme for BOMSS 2016 unveiled
January 2016

The Scientific Programme for the 7th BOMSS Annual Scientific Meeting taking place from 27 – 29 January 2016 at City Hall, Cardiff, is available.

For 2016, registration for the two day meeting will include entrance to the Gala Dinner on Thursday, 28 January 2016, so please make sure you register before 7 January 2016 to guarantee your place. To benefit from the Early Bird rate, register before 1 December 2015 at:

To find out more about the BOMSS Training Day on the 27 January 2016 go to:

Scientific Programme for BOMSS 2015 unveiled
January 2015

The Scientific Programme for the 6th BOMSS Annual Scientific Meeting taking place from 22 – 23 January 2015 at the Gosforth Marriott Hotel, Newcastle, is available.

For 2015, registration for the two day meeting will include entrance to the Gala Dinner on Thursday, 22 January 2015, so please make sure you register before 7 January 2015 to guarantee your place. To benefit from the Early Bird rate, register before 1 December 2014 at:

To find out more about the BOMSS Training Day on the 21 January 2015 go to:

National Bariatric Surgery Registry 2nd report offers fascinating insights into complexities of obesity
November 2014

Weight loss surgery helps people regain health – and reduces healthcare bill

Figures released on 10th November show that bariatric surgeons in the UK are increasingly successful at helping people control their weight – even though they are operating on people who are getting heavier and have more health complications at the point of surgery.

The National Bariatric Surgery Registry is the major source of data on the effectiveness of weight-loss surgery in the UK and the newly-published 2014 registry report has data on 18,283 operations operated between 2010 and 2013.

Click here to view the full BOMSS NBSR press release

Consultant Outcome Publication
October 2014

Consultant Outcomes data 2014 was published on Thursday, October 9 2014.

BOMSS expert publishes ‘traffic lights’ poster for GPs on post-op symptoms
September 2014

BOMSS has issued a traffic lights-style poster to help GPs care for patients who have had bariatric surgery.

Mr Sean Woodcock, a Council member of the British Obesity & Metabolic Surgery Society, (BOMSS), designed the at-a-glance poster displaying a range of possible symptoms which require referral back to bariatric specialists.

Symptoms are categorised in traffic light colours to show whether they warrant emergency, urgent or routine attention. The poster – “Primary care management of post-operative bariatric patients” – also suggests how soon after an operation the symptoms are most likely to occur.

Mr Woodcock, consultant surgeon at Northumbria NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The poster will help GPs decide how urgent the situation may be if a patient presents symptoms following an operation and how quickly they should be referred back to a specialist.

“Bariatric procedures are often extremely beneficial to people with serious weight problems but like all operations there can be complications. This traffic lights-style poster will help GPs decide how serious any complications may be and help make sure they refer patients to a specialist in good time.”

The poster – Primary care management of post-operative bariatric patients can be viewed at

BOMSS statment on draft NICE guideance
August 2014

The British Obesity and Metabolic Surgery Society (BOMSS) supports draft guidance from the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) on eligibility for bariatric surgery. It is expected that full guidance will be issued on November 26.

The current guidance says that bariatric surgery is an option for people with a BMI above 35 who have other health conditions.

The draft update in guidance strengthens the focus on people with Type 2 diabetes. It states that those who have been diagnosed in the past decade and have a BMI over 35 should be assessed for surgery. The guidelines also suggest doctors should consider those with a BMI of 30 or more on a case-by-case basis.

BOMSS strongly endorses access to surgery for people with diabetes with appropriate follow-up, the involvement of physicians and the use of a shared care model of chronic disease management.

BOMSS believes that for diabetes, surgery is a very powerful treatment (and for all the obese) and would welcome a shift in thinking so GPs and physicians think BMI 35+ diabetes = referral for surgical assessment, in the same way that abdominal pain on the right side + gallstones = referral to a surgeon.

BOMSS Commissioning guidance can be viewed here:

http://www.bomss.org.uk/commissioning-guide-weight-assessment-and-management-clinics-tier-3/ .


FRCS honour for Dr Henry Buchwald

Bariatric surgeon Dr Henry Buchwald has been award an honorary FRCS (Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons) on March 12 2014 in recognition of his surgical work.

Dr Buchwald, who practices in the US, has been a leader in bariatric surgery for 40 years and has served as President of the American Society of Bariatric Surgery and International Federation of Surgery for Obesity.

BOMSS President Mr Richard Welbourn said: “This is a well-deserved honour for Dr Buchwald. He has made a tremendous contribution to bariatric surgery over several decades.”

BOMSS Trainee Representative Mr James Hopkins said: “Dr Buchwald is an inspiring man and his contributions to bariatric surgery are legendary. It was a particular honour for me to be present at the ceremony, receiving my own FRCS, and hear his inspiring address to the delegates.”

BOMSS welcomes new commissioning guide for weight-loss programmes
20 March 2014

The launch of a clinical commissioning guide on weight loss services (Thursday, 20 March), developed following a NICE accredited process has been welcomed by experts across several disciplines.

The guide is intended to assist clinical commissioning groups in commissioning these services and reduce variation in access to weight-loss clinics across the country. It has the backing of five Royal Colleges, the British Obesity and Metabolic Surgery Society (BOMSS), the Faculty of Public Health, the National Obesity Forum (NOF), the British Dietetic Association (BDA) and the British Psychological Society.

Mr Richard Welbourn, Consultant Surgeon and President of the British Obesity and Metabolic Surgery Society (BOMSS) and Professor John Wass, academic vice-president at the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) led the project, joining forces with other experts to compile the guide – and to press for better joined-up clinical pathways for obesity services.

Along with surgeons, physicians and other health professionals they have been concerned that access to Tier 3 weight management clinics is restricted in some parts of the country.

Tier 3 obesity services offer support from clinicians, specialist dietician, psychologist and exercise specialists and are a prerequisite for patients seeking Tier 4 services such as bariatric surgery.

A lack of provision of Tier 3 obesity services in some parts of the country was highlighted by the Royal College of Surgeons in January pointing out that it risked leaving obese patients unable to access vital services they need to help control their weight.

Last week Public Health England and NHS England published a report which sought to clarify responsibility for providing Tier 3 obesity services and recommended that they should be commissioned by Clinical Commissioing Groups (CCGs). The new guide sets out how those services should be commissioned.

In a joint statement, Mr Welbourn and Prof Wass say: “The Royal College of Surgeons and BOMMS have developed a commissioning guide for Tier 3 services which covers weight assessment and management which takes into account the views of 10 sponsoring organisations.

“The guide includes input from patients, pathologists, bariatric physicians, general practitioners, public health experts, dieticians, psychologists and healthcare commissioners.

“It deals with the roles of the weight management clinic, the multidisciplinary team, the role of general practitioners, the role of the clinic itself, referral to bariatric surgery and peri- and post-operative care.

“We hope that this guidance will clarify the role of Tier 3 services in helping patients with weight problems.

“We are aware that Tier 3 services need to be developed in a number of areas in the UK. We believe that the service model set out in this guide should be adopted as quickly as possible across the country to ensure that a consistent service is provided to those who need it. ”

Hospital Episodes Statistics data shows there has been a fall of 10% in the number of bariatric surgical procedures being performed between April 2012 and March 2013, even though the most recently available statistics show obesity rates in England continuing to rise.

Read the full Commissioning Guide: Weight assessment and management clinics (Tier 3).

BOMSS welcomes new body contouring commissioning guide
March 2014

A body contouring commissioning guide, which aims to address variation across England in provision and quality of body contouring surgery for patients who have undergone massive weight loss, is launched by the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS) and the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS).

BOMSS contributed to the consultation about the guidance and welcomes its publication.

Commissioning Guidance on weight management clinics
September 2013

Public consultation for a BOMSS-led NICE-Approved commissioning guidance on weight management clinics has now started. The draft guidance has been seen and passed by by the BOMSS Clinical Services, Professional Standards sub-committee and BOMSS Council

ByBand study update
September 2013

The latest newsletter of the By-Band study – comparing the effectiveness, cost-effectiveness and acceptability of Band versus Bypass surgery for the treatment of complex obesity – has been issued and can be .

BOMSS president Mr Richard Welbourn and council member Ms Sally Norton are members of the By-Band steering committee.