Healthy Weight GP Project

Australia has one of the highest prevalence of overweight and obesity in the developed world. The WA Primary Health Alliance GP Healthy Weight project aims to offer solutions to General Practices wanting to support patients to be their healthiest.

Recommendation 2a of the 2019 Sustainable Health Review in Western Australia is committed to halting the rise in obesity by July 2024. Recognition of the complex nature of overweight and obesity gives rise to the need for a collaborative approach across systems, communities and individuals in WA, thus the WA Healthy Weight Action Plan forms a framework for action. As a steward of the WA Healthy Weight Action Plan, WA Primary Health Alliance has committed to actions which support GPs to provide options for patients wanting to make changes to their health. This project forms a core action that WA Primary Health Alliance will take in achieving the health goals of WA.

As the gateway to primary care, general practice is well placed to identify and manage overweight and obesity in WA, however many barriers exist. This project will explore barriers and enablers of supporting patients to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. This will inform a suite of tools, resources and education aimed at primary care clinicians to facilitate the early intervention and management of those living in larger bodies. The tools will be housed on a central electronic repository, which will act as a ‘hub’ for weight management in WA primary care.

Project aim

To improve the number and capability of general practices engaging in weight management quality improvement activities and delivering weight management assessment and intervention services for patients aged between 18 and 65 located within Western Australia.

Project objectives

  • To identify the barriers and enablers to patient weight management in West Australian general practice
  • To identify evidenced based, best practice tools, resources and education currently available to support WA general practices in managing patient weight
  • To identify crossover, duplication and collaboration and co-design opportunities with key stakeholders of the WA Healthy Weight Action Plan for support, tools and resources for weight management across the WA health system
  • To select and develop tools, resources and education to assist general practice in the routine collection and recording, and management of patient weight
  • To establish a sustainable repository of resources and tools and processes to support WA metropolitan general practices in patient weight management into WAPHA business as usual

Scope description

  • Investigation of the barriers and enablers to managing patient weight in general practice
  • Engagement with relevant stakeholders to inform and pilot the project
  • Investigation of existing tools and resources support patient weight management in general practice
  • Development and selection of tools, resources and education to support WA metropolitan general practice in the identification and management of patient weight which support general practice quality improvement activities
  • Design and build of a central electronic hub to house tools, resources and education

Deliverables

The WA Primary Health Alliance Healthy Weight Project is in the planning phase, therefore specifics relating to tools, resources and education are yet to be defined. The following is an indicative list of project deliverables:

  • Weight management ‘hub’ – electronic repository (website) adopting the ‘ask, assess, advise, assist, arrange’ framework with links to Health Pathways and local services for weight management. Houses resources to assist general practice staff in upskilling to manage patient weight.
  • Electronic training for general practice staff involved in weight management – may include the following content:
    • Understanding overweight and obesity;
    • Nutrition and physical activity – facts and myths;
    • Conversations that engage;
    • Counselling techniques to activate;
    • SMART action planning;
    • Putting it all into practice;
  • Tools to assist general practices in implementing weight management services as a quality improvement activity.
  • Financial modelling/case studies to assist with employing salaried allied health staff under current Commonwealth incentive programs e.g. Workforce Incentive Program
  • Medicare item numbers for weight management
  • Other tools which assist in strengthening multidisciplinary approaches to weight management

The website is due for launch in the third quarter of 2021.

Resources

FAQs
Who did you speak to in Phase 1 of the project?

We spoke to local GPs, practice nurses, dietitans and exercise physiologists during the consultation. Using open-ended, semi-structured questions derived from similar literature, we conducted face-to-face interviews. Similar consumer data collected by the Health Consumers’ Council was also analysed thematically and used to triangulate themes. 7 key findings emerged from the data.

Where can I read more about the key findings?

The Phase 1 report details the kind findings and opportunities.

Who will be informing the project’s clinical deliverables?

A clinical content working group containing expertise from health system and consumer representatives, as well as clinicians, such as GPs, practice nurses, dietitans and psychologists working in the area of overweight and obesity, and disordered eating will advise the clinical deliverables of the project. 

What phase is the project currently in?

The project is currently in Phase 2 (design and refine). Phase 2 is expected to be complete in the second quarter of 2021.

Where can I find out more information?

Please contact healthyweightprojects@wapha.org.au to find out more about the project.

This project is being supported by Department of Health as part of the implementation of the WA Healthy Weight Action Plan 2019 – 2024.

Disclaimer

While the Australian Government Department of Health has contributed to the funding of this website, the information on this website does not necessarily reflect the views of the Australian Government and is not advice that is provided, or information that is endorsed, by the Australian Government. The Australian Government is not responsible in negligence or otherwise for any injury, loss or damage however arising from the use of or reliance on the information provided on this website.