The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health and Social Care (Jo Churchill)
On 4 March this year, the Prime Minister announced an additional £100 million over 2021-22 to support people living with obesity to lose weight and maintain healthier lifestyles. I am pleased to confirm that the Government are dedicating £34.9 million of this new funding to support the expansion of local authority weight management services for adults, children, and families. Funds will be allocated via two ringfenced grants under section 31 of the Local Government Act 2003 and will be available to local authorities for 12 months from the beginning of the 2021-22 financial year.
The first grant will distribute £30.5 million among all local authorities in England to commission adult behavioural weight management services, based on population size, obesity prevalence, and deprivation. The funding is conditional on local authorities commissioning new, or expanding existing, behavioural weight management services, providing information on current service provision, and regularly submitting user data. This will be critical to demonstrate what works as we build a long-term approach to behavioural weight management services. The grant circular, setting out local authority allocations and the funding conditions, will be published on gov.uk today.
The second grant will distribute £4.4 million to test the expansion of behavioural weight management services for children and families and pilot an intervention to improve access to local services for children identified as overweight or obese through the national child measurement programme. All local authorities may submit an expression of interest for this funding. Funding will be allocated to local authorities according to the strength of their application and local need based on population size, child obesity prevalence and child-specific deprivation measures. The government will look to fund up to 10 areas, depending on the volume and strength of applications received. As with the adult grant, funding will be conditional on successful local authorities: commissioning behavioural weight management services for children and families; piloting an extended brief intervention linked to the national child measurement programme; providing information on current child and family service provision; and regularly submitting outcome data using a standardised dataset. The expression of interest for child and family weight management services will be announced on gov.uk today.
Public Health England will administer both grants and will be working closely with the Department of Health and Social Care to monitor and evaluate this important investment in behavioural weight management services.