Spire Manchester Hospital has become the first hospital in the North West to be awarded ‘Centre of Excellence’ status from the International Federation for the Surgery of Obesity and Metabolic Disorders (IFSO) for its high-quality weight loss surgery service.
The accreditation means that Spire Manchester Hospital has met rigorous standards for the effective and safe treatment of morbidly obese patients. The hospital had to prove to an independent committee that its bariatric surgeon’s each had a minimum of five years’ experience performing weight loss procedures, as well as its investment in specialised facilities and a dedicated team who effectively treat and manage morbidly obese patients from initial consultation to providing life-long aftercare.
Spire Manchester Hospital is currently only one of six hospitals across the country to achieve the accreditation and is hoping to promote it to other hospitals and healthcare providers as a national standard for obesity care. Given the rising obesity figures with 24% of British adults reported to be obese and more seeking a surgical solution, providing high-quality treatment is a priority in ensuring their safe and effective management.
Professor Basil Ammori, director of bariatric surgery at Spire Manchester Hospital, explains: “Patient demand is high and we have witnessed a 492% increase in patient numbers over the last three years (2007-2010). It is important to demonstrate that while volume is increasing, it is not at detriment to quality. At Spire Manchester Hospital, we have strived to set up a very high quality bariatric surgery service and our multidisciplinary bariatric team has acquired extensive experience in this field. I am proud of the achievements we have made and see this accreditation as international recognition of the team's efforts and a drive for us to continue to fulfil our aspirations for excellent outcomes for our patients.”
One of the key areas of the accreditation is demonstrating lifetime follow-up for at least 75% of cases through regular consultations, dietary advice and counselling. Specialist bariatric nurse at the hospital, Kath Rothwell, has dedicated her career to supporting patients through the process. Having had weight loss surgery herself, she understands more than most of the challenges that surgical patients face.
She explains: “Surgery is only the beginning of the journey for weight loss patients. Providing ongoing support and care plays a critical role in ensuring successful long-term weight loss. When I had surgery over five years ago, there was limited aftercare available to me and it was a real struggle to adjust both to the physical changes and a new way of life. My own experience has really motivated me into helping others which is why we offer a comprehensive aftercare package at Spire Manchester Hospital that includes a 24-hour helpline, a bi-monthly support group and ready access to dieticians, specialist nurses, consultants and counsellors.”