Overview and Programme Content


GPs understand better than anyone, the impact of obesity on health and costs to the NHS.

Choose to Change is a specialist weight management service commissioned locally for Bury*, Blackpool, Manchester, Oldham, Salford, Tameside and Glossop to support you in enabling overweight patients and those requesting bariatric surgery to achieve healthier outcomes.

We know it can be challenging to raise the subject of weight with patients but GPs, Practice Nurses and other health professionals are in a unique position to identify and support patients with weight related issues. Evidence suggests that weighing patients as part of a review during a consultation and highlighting the benefits of maintaining healthy weight can open the door for patients to consider joining a support programme.

Choose to Change can help you manage these patients. Your support is vital in encouraging the first step.

All patients eligible for bariatric surgery are also required to take part in Choose to Change for a minimum of 12 months before being considered for surgery. Further information is provided below.

*Bury patients are only eligible if referred on the bariatric pathway.

Programme Content

What can your patients EXPECT from the programme?

An initial two hour multidisciplinary consultation will include:

  • A psychological assessment to review emotional/psychological well-being associated with weight and to determine any barriers to weight loss
  • Review of medical history by a specialist GP
  • Review of lifestyle
  • Personal goal setting

This consultation will assess readiness to change and recommend the most appropriate intervention. The majority of patients will take part in group sessions. This will consist of 12 fortnightly sessions over six months. Patients will receive support from a range of specialists.

Sessions include:

  • Guided weight loss
  • Physical activity adapted for all abilities
  • Monitoring diary and review of eating habits
  • Guidance on lifelong lifestyle and behavioural change
  • Personal goal setting

Some patients will be offered 1:1 sessions either before or alongside group sessions for psychological (including eating disorders) or other specific needs.

For patients requesting bariatric surgery specialised sessions will provide information on the bariatric surgery pathway, the different procedures, associated complications, specific dietary requirements and factors to consider for surgery. Information about bariatric patient support groups and procedures for follow up post-surgery will also be provided.

What happens after SIX months of group sessions?

Non - Bariatric Patients

Patients will access the ‘Moving Forward’ Programme which consists of further follow up sessions, newsletters and continuing support.

Bariatric Patients

After the bariatric pathway patient has completed a minimum of six months intervention they must then attend a Moving Forward group for at least another six months. Once they have completed six months on the Moving Forward programme our medical staff will undertake a multi-disciplinary consultation to review their progress and if appropriate will complete a bariatric referral form. Communication will be sent to GPs informing them of a referral. If approved for surgery your patient will enter into the surgical provider’s pathway of care and receive 2 years of follow up. If your patient is not approved for surgery they can continue with the Choose to Change service for a further 12 months, they can be re-referred for surgery at a later date if appropriate.

There are two approved providers for bariatric surgery in Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Salford, Tameside and Glossop these are Salford Royal and Countess of Chester. In Blackpool the approved provider is Aintree Hospital.

Choose To Change | © ABL Health Ltd | 71 Redgate Way | Bolton | BL4 0JL