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Ambulance Services Face a Weighty Issue

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With the average weight of UK citizens becoming greater every year, including a larger percentage of people becoming obese, the nation’s ambulance services are having to spending out millions to deal with the problem.

Along with the health issues of being obese, come the complications regarding lifting and carrying exceptionally heavy patients.  To this end services are being forced to purchase new stretchers, lifting aids and even new ambulances to be able to cope with the additional weight.

For instance, in the last two years alone the Welsh Ambulance service has spent £4.2 million purchasing equipment to cope with this spiralling obesity problem.  Not only is this equipment necessary to cope with heavy patients, but also to preserve their dignity when being moved and handled.  In addition, paramedics and other ambulance staff need lifting and handling equipment to avoid injuring themselves during the process of moving an obese patient.

The government is well aware of this ever-increasing problem, and has been and will continue to invest into educating the general public about the need for exercise, sensible drinking habits and healthy eating.  Whilst of course the NHS will continue to ensure that they have the resources needed to cope with obese patients, it’s also being said that the public themselves need to take responsibility for their own weight issues.

A Welsh government spokesman speaking about the issue said that obesity in general is a preventable condition, not to mention the fact that it can lead to life-threatening conditions.

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