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Health trust calls in slimming firm

PUBLISHED: 17:34 22 September 2009 | UPDATED: 10:12 11 August 2010

A PRIVATE slimming company has hit back at critics after bagging a lucrative contract with the primary care trust. SureSlim is said to have nearly doubled its profits after landing a contract with NHS Barking and Dagenham, which was said to have paid over

A PRIVATE slimming company has hit back at critics after bagging a lucrative contract with the primary care trust.

SureSlim is said to have nearly doubled its profits after landing a contract with NHS Barking and Dagenham, which was said to have paid over £53,000 so far for 180 people to go through the company's bespoke meal plan since January.

In Barking and Dagenham - the fattest London borough - 16 percent of adults are obese.

It may cause them serious health problems like diabetes and heart disease.

Now the company is looking to expand into other boroughs, but Professor Wendy Savage, from the Keep Our NHS Public pressure group, said: "We are concerned that the service could be inferior to that offered over the long term in NHS hospitals."

Dr Kevin Whelan, nutritional sciences lecturer at King's College London, said: "The advice they [SureSlim] seem to be giving sounds like nothing more than good standard dietary advice.

"It's the same advice any NHS dietician would give you."

Slimmer Janis Spring, 42, of Rush Green Road, Dagenham, however, praised the one-to-one advice and care she received from SureSlim.

She suffered from diabetes and high cholesterol when she joined the weight-loss programme as a size 26 in late 2007.

Within a year and a half, the former dancer and mother-of-two had shed nearly 10 stone and could fit into size 12 jeans again.

She said: "SureSlim gave me my life back.

"I was at the lowest point I could possibly have been in my life.

"It's the one-to-one consultation which encourages you to go forward and makes such a difference."

An NHS spokesperson said a 12-month course of SureSlim treatment, costing £295 per patient, was significantly less than the cost of gastric band treatment, which is several thousand pounds.

He added: "We're tackling obesity in a lot of different ways from dance classes and free swimming to SureSlim and other diet plans.

"So far SureSlim has shown some impressive results."

Daryl Taylor, chief officer at SureSlim UK, said: "The SureSlim programme is highly respected in today's international weight loss industry, because it is scientifically researched and medically proven.

"We're thrilled to be supporting the NHS on the ever growing issue of obesity and hope that this is the start of a much bigger relationship.


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