October 24, 2021

‘Do not say the F-word’: Doctors offered training on bedside manner amid complaints of ‘fat-shaming’


‘Do not say the F-word’: Doctors given training to enhance bedside manner amid tide of complaints about ‘fat-shaming’ by NHS employees

  • The NHS obtained 63 complaints in 2020 about the means employees handled fats sufferers
  • However the quantity is prone to be far increased as some trusts didn’t disclose numbers 
  • The Royal Faculty of Physicians provides a free two-hour course for medical doctors on learn how to focus on weight points with sufferers
  • Nationwide Weight problems Discussion board stated medical doctors should not shrink back from telling house truths










Doctors are being offered training to enhance their bedside manner after dozens of sufferers complained about being ‘fat-shamed’ by NHS employees.

Some took exception to being informed that they had been an unhealthy weight, wanted to enhance their food regimen or had been too massive to slot in scanners or have operations.

The Royal Faculty of Physicians stated healthcare staff ‘should not be afraid’ to lift the problem as a result of of the ‘very extreme dangers’ of weight problems however they need to focus on it ‘sensitively’ and keep away from utilizing ‘stigmatising language’.

NHS trusts obtained a minimum of 63 formal complaints final yr about the means employees spoke to fats sufferers, Freedom of Data requests reveal. However the true quantity is prone to be a lot increased as some refused to reveal numbers.

One physician at Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Belief allegedly informed a lady she was morbidly overweight and it was her fault as a result of of ‘the crap she eats’.

An worker at West Midlands Ambulance Service confronted disciplinary proceedings after allegedly saying {that a} affected person’s ‘boobs’ had been ‘not a lot to take a look at if you will discover them beneath all that fats’.

Rachel Energy, of the Sufferers Affiliation, stated: ‘Speaking about somebody’s weight is usually a delicate topic and well being professionals must take nice care when approaching it.

‘They do want to have the ability to give sufferers trustworthy recommendation, together with about the advantages of sustaining a wholesome weight… however it’s by no means acceptable for NHS employees to be impolite.’

NHS trusts received at least 63 formal complaints last year about the way staff spoke to fat patients, Freedom of Information requests reveal. But the true number is likely to be much higher as some refused to disclose numbers

NHS trusts obtained a minimum of 63 formal complaints final yr about the means employees spoke to fats sufferers, Freedom of Data requests reveal. However the true quantity is prone to be a lot increased as some refused to reveal numbers

Tam Fry, of the Nationwide Weight problems Discussion board, stated: ‘Loads of persons are in denial about their weight and medical doctors mustn’t shrink back from telling them house truths.

‘Some healthcare staff might have to enhance their bedside manner however there can be some sufferers who take offence at being informed they’re chubby regardless of how sensitively it’s completed.’

The Royal Faculty of Physicians provides a free two-hour course for medical doctors on learn how to focus on weight points with sufferers and is producing a video on the subject.

Professor Rachel Batterham, the school’s particular adviser on weight problems, stated: ‘It’s essential that medical doctors and different healthcare professionals increase the subject of weight given the many and infrequently very extreme dangers weight problems can pose… however they need to achieve this sensitively.

‘They should clarify that weight problems is a fancy medical situation and that shedding weight will enhance their well being and to supply applicable assist.’

Chris Hopson, of NHS Suppliers, which represents NHS trusts, stated clinicians are nicely educated to debate weight ‘in an applicable means however we all know {that a} small quantity of sufferers resent the incontrovertible fact that the problem is raised in the first place, although it must be’. 

REMARKS THAT OFFENDED 

Many of the complaints about the means NHS employees spoke to fats sufferers led to apologies.

One concerned a junior physician at Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Belief who upset a affected person by allegedly saying: ‘It is advisable to drop a few pounds. You’re very furry and that’s since you are chubby.’

The advisor in cost of the ward despatched a letter of apology to the affected person.

One other criticism got here from a affected person being weighed at Nice Western Hospitals NHS Belief who claimed a nurse laughed at her when she stated she tried to keep up a wholesome weight, allegedly saying: ‘Properly clearly not.’

A physician at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Kings Lynn NHS Belief wrote to a affected person to apologise after telling them to ‘go house and drop a few pounds’.

East Midlands Ambulance Service obtained a criticism in opposition to an worker who allegedly informed a affected person: ‘I hope you may make your means down. There is no such thing as a means I’m carrying you – you weigh an excessive amount of for us to be lifting you down the stairs.’

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