Specialist Weight Management

Specialist weight management service

0300 422 6174

This specialist service is open to any patient who is registered with a Gloucestershire GP and meets the criteria for access.

The team is mainly made up of of psychologists, dietitians and clinical nurse specialists with input from an endocrinologist. They primarily receive referrals from GPs, but also accept referrals from secondary care teams within our hospitals such as the Diabetes Team, Sleep Clinic Team and Physiotherapy Department. They also have links to the Lymphoedema Team in the county and plan to widen the scope of referrals.

Whilst they have links to the Bariatric Surgical Team, they are a separate service. Most of their work supports patients to manage their weight more effectively, but they also provide pre-surgery preparation for patients eligible for bariatric surgery and post-surgery follow up.

Patients may find this SWMS information leaflet



How the service works

The Specialist Weight Management Service (SWMS) is a psychology-focused service and we aim to support patients in a non-judgmental way to answer questions such as:

  • What am I doing that isn’t helpful to my weight? This may involve patients spending time noticing what they do, as well as who and what influences their behaviour as well as identifying triggers or situations for over-eating
  • What is stopping me changing my behaviour? For a significant number of patients, pain, low mood and/or a poorly controlled medical condition are making change difficult. Many patients have low confidence in their ability to change, low self-worth and low self-belief.

Some patients feel ground-down after years of dieting with little longer-term success. Some are overwhelmed by their emotions or by the amount of weight they need to lose. Many feel out-of-control regarding their eating and their weight.

What support do I need?

Focusing on weight may be too difficult if pain or low mood or a poorly controlled medical condition are significant. These may need to be focused on first. If a patient is able to focus on their weight, we offer support with the following:

What can I do differently?

We encourage a step-by-step approach, a ‘start where you are now’ and build up gradually to develop helpful eating and helpful activity behaviours and begin to work on changing unhelpful behaviours.

Techniques we use include:

  • Active listening using motivational interviewing techniques
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy techniques to help patients move away from eating as a means to cope with difficult thoughts and feelings
  • Acceptance and commitment therapy helping patients to get in touch with what really matters to them and so begin to change unhelpful behaviours that are barriers to that change
  • Mindfulness and mindful eating. 


Who we see We are able to accept referrals for patients with a BMI above 40, with any medical condition that could be improved or better managed with weight loss, or any patient with a BMI above 50

How to refer We are able to accept referrals from GP’s and the Diabetes and Respiratory teams (for patients with sleep apnoea) locally. We accept referrals on our referral form or by letter with relevant medical history attached.