£2.5m - that's how much weight-loss ops cost Notts taxpayers
OBESE people in Notts are costing the taxpayer at least £2.5 million a year in weight-loss operations.
Latest figures show 538 people went under the knife to have operations – including gastric bands and bypasses – in 2011-12 in an effort to lose weight.
Although overall figures are not available, each operation costs a minimum of £5,000.
The stats from the Health and Social Care Information Centre also show more people living in the area covered by NHS Notts County – those outside the city – were admitted to hospital with obesity problems than anywhere else in the country.
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Health minister and Broxtowe MP Anna Soubry said: "On the face of it, these figures do seem disturbing. However, we don't know if this is an indication that our GPs are taking a robust attitude towards obesity and sending more people to hospital."
The figures show that in 2011-12:
353 weight-loss operations were carried out on people living in the county, excluding Bassetlaw, where there were 47. The figure for the city was 138.
374 people in the NHS Notts County area went to hospital for obesity problems, 300 of them women. In the city, the figure was 153, and 125 of these were women. In Bassetlaw, there were 49 admissions.
Tracey Smalley, 46, of Laurie Close, Forest Fields, had a gastric band in 2008 and has since lost 15 stone.
She said: "The band has really worked for me. I don't want to lose any more weight."
Anne Pridgeon, senior public health manager for NHS Notts County, said that in proportion to its size, the authority's area did not have the most hospital admissions for obesity.
She said: "Estimated adult obesity rates in most Nottinghamshire districts are not significantly higher than the England average and local authorities are working together on a wide variety of projects to reduce the problem."
Read about Tracey Smalley's gastric band success story here.