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Alphega initiative targets overweight children

Neil Scobie (right): Growing Healthy will focus on “feeling good”

Growing Healthy pilot will launch in September, support group announces at its UK conference

Support group Alphega Pharmacy has launched a weight-loss programme for primary school children and their families.

The Growing Healthy service will target overweight children aged between four and 12 by encouraging exercise and helping their families plan healthy meals, Alphega pharmacist consultant Neil Scobie announced at the network’s UK conference in Telford last week (May 15).

A pilot of the service will be launched in September. It will focus on family dynamics and how this affects eating habits. Parents are encouraged to attend up to 12 consultations over a six-month period, as are other members of the family.

Not limited to overweight children

The initiative will be available to all families with children aged between four and 12, not just those who are overweight, Mr Scobie stressed.

“It’s not necessarily expected that children will experience significant weight loss through the course of the programme but if healthy habits become normal, everyday habits – this is known to reduce the risks to the child in the long run,” Mr Scobie said. 

Rather than just encouraging better diet and exercise, Growing Healthy will focus on “feeling good”, he added.

Fee not decided

Alphega recommends that pharmacists charge for the service, and will suggest a fee once it has been able to determine the success of the pilot.


What do you think of the pilot?

We want to hear your views, but please express them in the spirit of a constructive, professional debate. For more information about what this means, please click here to see our community principles and information


Brian Austen, Senior Management

Wal-mart the massive US compny that owns Asda has recently agreed a sourcing deal for generic pharmaceuticals and an extended long-term distribution agreement with McKesson, owners of Celesio and Lloyds Pharmacy. What next Lloyds Pharmacies in Asda or Asda pharmacies sourcing their stock from Celesio/McKesson. At the moment it looks like what the small independents lose the big global companies will gain. I think Boots, Lloyds, Well, Day Lewis and Rowlands can see opportunities arising out of the NHS policy turmoil.

Brian Austen, Senior Management

Who in their right mind indeed? Walgreen Boots Alliance using Alliance Healthcare to 'support' the network of Alphega Group Independent Pharmacies. I don't think paediatric weight loss services are something that Pharmacists and pharmacies can provide safely. I suspect that the public and Pharmacists will agree with me.  Those independent pharmacies need to test how independent they are with this huge, out of touch parent company.

Mr Pharmacist!, Pharmaceutical Adviser

Yet again, a support group that is well behind the curve.  Who in their right mind is going to push services now, havent these people heard of the word "disinvestment".  For gods sake, most contractors can barely do MUR's, how the hell are they going to push new services which doesnt have proven uptake (i.e. Private Payments). Crazy...perhaps Alphega should work on giving buying rebates, since that is more tangible, rather than selling a half baked neo-liberal utopian vision.  Someone needs to politely inform the big-wigs at Alphega that we are currently under the tenure of a conservative administraton, not a Looney Labour administration.

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