On 23 February 2021, the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) hosted the ‘Obesity? The time to talk is now: Addressing stigma and building confidence in discussions around healthy weight’ webinar.

The webinar’s premise was that whether conscious or otherwise, bias and stigma play a major role in the patient/practitioner relationship and effective weight management.

The webinar therefore provided the opportunity for GPs to understand how stigma operates in the general practice setting and build positive communication skills to improve patient-centred care for people living with obesity.

The webinar was chaired by Dr Rachel Pryke (GP & RCGP Clinical Advisor on obesity and nutrition) and speakers were:

Dr Stuart Flint (Associate Professor of the Psychology of Obesity, the University of Leeds, Director of Obesity UK, and President of Scaled Insights)
Professor Francesco Rubino (Consultant Surgeon, Chair of Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery, King’s College London)
Ms Nadya Isack (Obesity Empowerment Network Champion for London and the South East).

The webinar addressed:

  • What stigma is and why it is important in the patient/practitioner relationship  
  • How we approach obesity differently to other health conditions
  • Addressing past harms – Understanding and moving beyond blame culture  
  • Developing the skills for ‘active listening’ to each patient voice 

The webinar is now available to watch on demand. For more information see below.

In her presentation Nadya shared her experience as a person living with obesity and specifically the trials and tribulations she faced in seeking to access appropriate treatment and care through the NHS as a someone with obesity.

The event was attended by 350 GPs and included an active Q&A session.

Many attendees found Nadya’s input extremely valuable for their practice. This was reflected in attendees’ comments. A selection are presented below with kind permission from Novo Nordisk and the RCGP.

‘Great to hear the patient’s perspective, which allowed me to understand the obstacles a patient may face in dealing with obesity and how I could improve upon the type of care I should be providing.’

‘It is very eye opening to hear about her experience. Definitely impacted me to be thoughtful about every word I say.’

‘Such a valuable experience to hear from this lady. This will stick with me and will transform my narrative of obesity in general practice.’

‘Great to hear about a personal patient experience, and how this can start as early as with reception staff.’

‘Really brave and very helpful presentation of her personal journey and helping understand how stigma actually affects people living with obesity.’

The webinar is now available to watch on demand via the RCGP Obesity Hub. You can watch it here.

Please note, it is required to register for a member account with the RCGP to access the webinar on demand. This is free and open to all – it requires no professional registration.

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