Children are the focus for Milton Keynes in £1.4 million weight management contract

Council contract
Council contract

Councils covering Milton Keynes, Bedford Borough, and Central Bedfordshire are set to combine to put the spotlight on children, young people and their families who are at risk of obesity.

The three authorities are working together to award a £1,404,000 (£1.4m) three-year healthy weight service contract, which is due to start on April 1 this year.

Chelmsford-based MoreLife UK, which says on its website that it organises weight loss summer camps, has passed the tests of the three councils to be the preferred provider.

Bedford Borough has taken the lead on weight management services and on managing the contract on behalf of all three authorities.

But all three councils have to agree to the contract which will cost a total of £468,000 per year across the three partner authorities.

The Milton Keynes Council annual contribution over three years will be £193,200. This compares to the current cost of services in MK of £218,000, saving the council £74,400 over the three-year period of the contract.

Now Councillor Hannah O’Neill, the Milton Keynes cabinet member for health and wellbeing, is set to decide this evening (Tuesday) whether to go ahead. The Milton Keynes contribution over the three years will be £579,600.

In a report to Cllr O’Neill, Laura Waller, Bedford’s senior officer excess weight, says: “The new service will have a greater focus on children, young people and their families and will include a reduced targeted offer for adults.” It will combine prevention with weight management services.

In Milton Keynes the new service will be commissioned to provide a service for mums and a focus on children and young people in schools, early years and primary care.

Its aim is to make it easier for children and young people to eat well and become more active and reducing the risk of heart disease, cancer and stroke through increasing healthy living activities.

There will also be a focus on supporting residents in more deprived areas and adults who are likely to gain the greatest benefit from losing weight.