New NHS certified digital weight management service available free to people in West Sussex

A new digital weight management service is being offered by West Sussex County Council free to access for people who live or work in the county.

The programme aims to support people to lose weight and maintain their health. People will be given help to sustain healthy habits and achieve self-selected goals through access to education, recipes, on-demand exercise classes, group and one-to-one coaching.

The Council’s Public Health department is funding access to the ‘Gro Health’ app in response to growing numbers of people who are overweight or obese, in addition to a range of existing funded weight management services available via West Sussex Wellbeing and the NHS. Gro Health will offer an additional local programme for those wanting access to free digital support who do not qualify for the NHS digital weight management offer. The number of adults who are overweight or obese in West Sussex has increased from 61.6% in 2019/20 to 63.8% in 2020/21 and 23.3% were classified as being obese.

Gro Health can be accessed online using a phone, tablet or computer, without the need to download any special software. The service can also be accessed via free apps available for both iPhone and Android for those who wish to download them.

It is the first time that people in West Sussex have been offered free access to such an innovative digital service for weight management without a GP referral.

Bob Lanzer, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing at West Sussex County Council, said: “We are excited to be offering this clinically proven, free weight management app at a time of year when many people decide they want to make changes to improve their health and wellbeing. As the programme provides personalised support for up to 12 months and is available in 19 languages, we can help support more people across West Sussex to lose weight and maintain their health in the longer term.

“It is central to the commitment outlined in Our Council Plan for us to help people maintain and improve their health and wellbeing through advice and support.

“The Gro Health app is one of a range of options we provide to support people who want to lose weight. Our West Sussex Wellbeing weight management service also offers tailored weight management programmes with a Wellbeing advisor for those who prefer a non-digital approach.”

Michaela de la Fosse, Operations Manager at DDM Health, providers of the Gro Health app said: “We are delighted to support people in West Sussex with Gro Health. The service has been co-developed with clinicians and residents to support their journey to a healthy weight and improve mental health. I can’t wait to see the impact of our programme to the residents of West Sussex.”

Gro Health has been shown to support people to lose weight, improve their mental health, reduce medications and even reverse conditions such as prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.

In one study, on average, people completing the programme report an average weight loss of 6.9kg, or 6.5% of their starting weight[1].

In another study, after 12 weeks’ of app use, people using the app reduce their stress levels by 23% and anxiety levels by 31%.[2]

People can check their eligibility and access the Gro Health service through the West Sussex Wellbeing website.