It already can meet most everyday medical needs – and now experts at Beeston Hill Health Centre can help people lose weight too.
The modern facility, in the centre of Beeston, is one of the city’s bases for the new Weigh Ahead service.
It provides one-to-one or group weight loss support to those referred to the service, all on the NHS.
The aim is to help people who’ve unsuccessfully tried many other ways to lose weight – and Joanne Pailign, who was meeting dietitian Vanessa Maynard for the first time, fits into that category.
“I feel like I’ve been eating salad for about a year,” she said.
“I’ve been trying to do it on my own, but I just stay the same weight.” She said she was delighted when her GP gave her the chance to join Weigh Ahead.
“Otherwise it would’ve meant having to spend a lot on gyms or trying every diet out there without knowing what’s right for me,” Joanne, from Cottingley, added.
“Because it’s on the NHS, it’s perfect. It’s the support more than anything.”
Vanessa said the scheme involved seeing clients for about 12 sessions, finding out about their background, discussing whether they would like to attend a groups session, as well as medication and surgery if appropriate.
They might be asked to keep food and activity diaries, and talk about issues such as eating healthily and portion control.
The service, run by Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust, is for people with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of over 30 generally. But Emma Oates, head of the community dietetics service, said many of their clients had a BMI of 43 or more.
“Most have tried self-management before but the difference with us is that we are very person-centred,” she said.
As well as one-to-one sessions at health centres across the city, Weigh Ahead also runs activity groups at leisure centres.
Among the other services at the centre, which was opened in 2007, are two GP practices, are speech and language therapists, musculoskeletal services, podiatry, cardiac nurses, baby clinics and community dental care.
On the main reception, Michelle Thompson has been in the job for 10 years.
The receptionists carry out a variety of roles for various teams of health workers also based there, as well as helping patients who come from a range of backgrounds in the diverse local area.
“It’s very friendly, everyone gets on well and helps each other out,” Michelle said.
“We are here as a service and anyone who needs our help in the building, we will help.”
Weigh Ahead can be contacted on 0113 8432395.