Setting up a patient support group

The value of meeting other people who share a common interest with you is demonstrated in all aspects of life, but none more so that when it relates to a health matter. It’s nice simply to meet others and share your experiences and learn from theirs and many groups do just that.

However, at BOSPA we believe that patient support groups have a bigger role to play in obesity surgery than that. Research has shown that in centres where there is a good support service, including an active patient support group, obesity surgery outcomes are better and fewer patients are lost to follow up. A patient support group is therefore fundamentally crucial to achieving an individual’s weight loss and health improvement goals and ensuring that the investment made by both the patient and the health professional team in performing obesity surgery, is worth it.

The objectives BOSPA sets for patient support groups affiliated to our organisation are to:

  • Inform and educate prospective patients and their families about all aspects of obesity surgery, (e.g. the types of surgery and the processes involved) so that they can actively participate in the surgery decision making process
  • Support patients following surgery to help them to reach their weight loss and health improvement targets – celebrate the successes and support each other when the going gets tough
  • Form a partnership with the health professional team to optimise obesity surgery services in the local area – access to funding, provision of multidisciplinary services, equipment etc

If a group is named on our website as being a BOSPA group, this indicates that the members of that group are individual members of BOSPA.  Whilst we provide help and support to BOSPA group leaders we do not exert any form of control over the content of each group meeting, and the group maintains a lot of independence from the BOSPA organisation.  If concerns arise about the functioning of a group which are not improved by remedial steps discussed with the group leadership, BOSPA reserves the right to disassociate ourselves from that group.

A support group is not a replacement for medical services or a weight reduction club.

BOSPA provides comprehensive assistance to patients and professionals who are wishing to set up support groups. If you would like our help, please contact us.