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National Obesity Clinical Programme

The Government’s Healthy Weight for Ireland: Obesity Policy and Action Plan  sets out a 10-step multi-sectoral action plan to address one of the biggest public health challenges in Ireland.  The appointment of clinical leadership for Obesity is a key action for the HSE under the Policy. The HSE established the Healthy Eating Active Living Policy Priority Programme in late 2016, and in 2017 the National Obesity Management Programme was set up by the HSE Health & Wellbeing Division.

The primary objective of the HSE Obesity Management Programme is to improve access to services and quality of care for overweight people in Ireland.  This will be achieved by developing integrated models of care that strengthen prevention, identification, early intervention and treatment for overweight and obesity across primary care and acute services for both children and adults.

The Clinical Lead is Prof Donal O’Shea, a consultant endocrinologist at St Columcilles Hospital and St Vincent’s University Hospital, where he also leads a hospital-based multi-disciplinary obesity service.

A clinical advisory group was established to provide clinical expertise to the Programme.  Its multidisciplinary membership includes physicians and surgeons from hospital and community settings.  The Clinical Advisory Group is a committee of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland.

The Chair of the Clinical Advisory Group is Dr Brendan O’Shea.  Dr O’Shea has been in family practice in Kildare since 1989, and earned a doctorate in Childhood Overweight at Trinity College in 2015.  In addition, he has been involved in a series of pragmatic clinical studies focusing on aspects of overweight with GP trainees during the last 10 years.

Recent Events

Summer School on Overweight and Obesity: Improving care for people who are overweight – are we there yet?

On Thursday 29th August 2019, the Obesity Management Clinical Programme hosted a Summer School at the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland. The aims of the event were to highlight the progress in the understanding of obesity, explain the impact of weight stigma and encourage discussion and interaction between clinicians and people living with obesity and overweight.

Obesity Management Clinical Programme Summer School

Speakers at the Summer School L-R: Prof Donal O’Shea, Dr Jean O’Connell, Dr Cathy Breen, Prof Michael Turner, Ms Maura Murphy, Ms Suzie Birney, Mr Paul Masterson, Dr Brendan O’Shea.

 Related Topics

  • The Race We Don't Want to Win: Tackling Ireland’s Obesity Epidemic  https://www.rcpi.ie/news/publication/the-race-we-dont-want-to-win/  The Royal College of Physicians of Ireland established a policy group on obesity in 2013, bringing together clinicians and other health professionals to propose solutions to address obesity and to support achievement of the targets specified in the Healthy Ireland framework. This document outlines our recommended public policy measures to tackle obesity.
  • Healthy Weight for Ireland: Obesity Policy and Action Plan 2016-2025   https://health.gov.ie/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/A-Healthy-Weight-for-Ireland-Obesity-Policy-and-Action-Plan-2016-2025.pdf  The Government’s Healthy Weight for Ireland: Obesity Policy and Action Plan 2016-2025 sets out a 10-step multi-sectoral action plan to address one of the biggest public health challenges in Ireland. The approach taken in developing this policy was based on Healthy Ireland, the Government framework for improved health and wellbeing. This policy is informed by the evidence, an extensive consultation with key stakeholders and meetings, and submissions from wide sector of organisations, individuals and Non-Governmental Organisations. ‘A Healthy Weight for Ireland’ covers a ten-year period until 2025 and sets targets to be achieved and actions that will produce measurable outcomes.