How can Scope benefit health professionals in the UK?
Author: Mohamad Qutub, World Obesity Federation
"Scope is the most effective tool for health professionals treating obesity" - Prof. Nick Finer, Consultant in Endocrinology UCLH and Honorary Professor at University College London
We often assume that education on obesity needs to be directed towards patients. But research is increasingly finding that educating health professionals may be even more important. In an October 2013 article in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers James Colbert and Sughrut Jangi found that while obesity is becoming increasingly prominent “physicians-in-training frequently fail to recognise obesity, are unfamiliar with treatment options, and spend relatively little clinic time treating obesity” (Colbert and Jangi 2013).
SCOPE has developed in the last few years as the leading online certification programme for health professionals globally. We now have our sights set on Latin America and the French-speaking world with our translations of SCOPE to Spanish, Portuguese and French. But we have never lost sight of our commitment to health professionals in Europe and the UK in particular. Some of you may not know is that SCOPE has a very long history in Europe. It began at an obesity summit of EU health ministries in Copenhagen in 2002 that highlighted a need for better education in obesity management among health professionals. We launched at the ECO summit in Helsinki the following year and started the European Fellowship programme the year after that. Today we are active members of the EU Commission Platform on Diet and Exercise working to improve training throughout the EU.
In 2009 we started our first SCOPE Summer School in Cambridge bringing expert obesity education to health professionals in the UK. Since then we’ve accumulated a number of endorsements and accredited a number of courses from leading partner organisations in the UK including:
- NHS: NHS England commissioning guidelines for 2012/13 and 2013/2014 require Bariatric Specialists in England to be members of SCOPE
- Royal College of GPs: Obesity and malnutrition online course is SCOPE Accredited
- Royal College of Physicians Action on Obesity Report 2013
- Association for Nutrition Accredited
- CPD Accredited
- Association for the Study of Obesity (ASO)
"This programme goes from strength to strength with a wide range of relevant modules." - Dr. Carly Hughes, UK
In 2012 we partnered with the Royal College of Nursing on a SCOPE Accredited event on motivational interviewing that resulted in two of our popular online modules by Dr Alain Golay. Currently we are partnering with the World Cancer Research Fund (based in the UK) to develop a new module on Obesity and Cancer for release in 2015. All modules are reviewed by our Clinical Care Committee made up of leading experts. Recently we upgraded our modules to allow user-reviews and star ratings so you can make an informed choice and provide feedback to help us continuously update and improve content.
Since SCOPE was released online in 2012 the country with the most health professionals taking our course has been the UK. Our endorsements, events and UK experts who develop our online courses have all contributed to this success. Authors include:
- Dr Clare Grace RD, Kings College Hospital
- Prof Nick Finer, UCLH
- Dr Lisa Webber, Centre for Reproductive and Genetic Health London
- Dr Anthony Wierzbicki, Guy and St Thomas Hospitals
- Joanna Hoensch MSc RD, Cambridge University Hospitals Trust
Over the past three years SCOPE has developed its online programme as a leader in obesity training for UK-based health professionals. Our online students come from all recognised health professionals from physicians to nurses to dieticians and others. We now have 30 modules on a variety of essential obesity topics including lifestyle interventions, motivational interviewing, childhood obesity, mental health and obesity, childhood obesity, surgical interventions and others. We allow anyone to register for free and provide a free course to get you started. Our online platform is easy to use and in less than 5 minutes you could be taking our free online course. Starting next month we are introducing iPad compatability so you can take SCOPE with you everywhere. Get started today!