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Weight management; Patients show demonstrable behavioural changes with Flo

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Laura Bell , Dietetic Assistant Practitioner


Laura has led on the pilot of Florence in the weight loss maintenance stage of the Lothian programme and uses Flo to improve patient commitment and adherence to weight management programmes.

“I was about to get something from the fridge and a text message came through. It made me stop and think do I actually need this….   NO! So I walked away”

Offering patients a choice, through a combination of motivational messaging and/or weekly weight checks, the team offers Flo to their patients to provide a complete ‘person’ package in-between face-to-face consultations. 

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To establish sustained behaviour change, patients opting for motivational support and encouragement to help them engage better with the existing weight management  programme are supported by Flo for eight weeks. The interactive programme provides motivational messages and validated signposting about where to access reliable and up to date information on healthy eating & activity, obesity related conditions, and mental health support.  Patients can also report their weight weekly.  

Flo’s timely interactions help patients to maintain focus on the journey towards their agreed target weight whilst at the same time recording progress through weekly weight readings.

By understanding what motivates each patient, a choice of protocols are available with either a focus on weight loss, or weight gain – Flo’s replies are tailored to either context.  Improved engagement with the patient’s own weight management programme not only improves clinical outcomes but increases patient attendance at existing group sessions and 1:1 appointments ensuring that clinical time is used efficiently.

“60% of patients chose to sign-up, and more demonstrable behavioural changes were seen in patients on the Florence service.”

In addition to supporting safe weight loss, other benefits of the programme include a reduction in further medical interventions, reduction in GP visits and reduction of prescribed medication. 

From the initial pilot

  • Patients have given positive feedback with 85% of patients reporting that they liked using Flo as part of their weight management programme.
  • 83% would recommend using Flo for additional support when on a Weight Management programme. 
  • The programme will now be used widely across NHS Lothian’s weight management services.

For more information, contact;  weight.management@nhslothian.scot.nhs.uk

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