Position statement on over the counter supplements

Bariatric surgery is an effective tool for weight loss and managing obesity related co-morbidities resulting in significant health improvements. Procedures such as sleeve gastrectomy, gastric bypass, duodenal switch, one anastomosis gastric bypass impact on absorption of micronutrients which, if left untreated, will result in nutritional deficiencies. It is therefore essential that people have access to vitamin and mineral supplements as treatment.

BOMSS notes NHS England Guidance for CCGs: Conditions for which over the counter items should not routinely be prescribed in primary care. Under 4.1.2 Vitamins and minerals, it includes the following under exceptions: “Medically diagnosed deficiency, including for those patients who may have a lifelong or chronic condition or have undergone surgery that results in malabsorption. Continuing need should, however, be reviewed on a regular basis”.

The BOMSS position is that patients undergoing bariatric surgery fall within the exception group and should continue to receive vitamin and mineral supplements as treatment.

People first language

In line with many professional societies, BOMSS council has agreed to adopt People First Language in speaking about people with obesity in its publications and at conferences. Language is important to help reduce weight bias and stigma.

BOMSS also requests that careful consideration is given to presentations that the use of stigmatising photos in publications and at conferences is avoided.

Members can find further information on People First Language, via the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) https://www.obesityaction.org/action-through-advocacy/weight-bias/people-first-language/

The following link through EASO gives access to photo libraries with positive images of people with obesity that can be used in presentations http://easo.org/media-portal/obesity-image-bank/

Trainee update

Training Days: The next Training Day will be held in Belfast  on 23 January, 2019. Sessions will include a dry lab, a talk on bariatric fellowships (where to find them, how to apply, what you get out of them), how to build your CV in bariatrics from the ex-president of BOMSS and how to cope as a new consultant.

The Abstract submission closing date for BOMSS 2019 is Monday, 19 November. Accepted abstracts will be published online with the Obesity Surgery Journal.

Courses: A course is planned for Doncaster – 21 March – aimed at slightly more junior HSTs and CSTs. It will include how to assess the patient in clinic, what the operations are / live operating with detailed commentary, how exactly to manage the patient post-op on the ward, how to assess the emergency bariatric patient and band deflation models. Save the date.