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National public health award for Maxine

Published 22nd November 2019

Maxine Dixon with David Kidney and Lisa McNally

A Sandwell Council employee has won a national award for her working in helping hundreds of people in the borough to lose weight.

Maxine Dixon won the UK Public Health Practitioner Award for Improving Public Health Practice for the council's much-praised Weight2GO programme.

Maxine, who is a weight management project manager in Public Health leads on the Weigh2GO programme which uses a combination of the latest 'smart scale' technology and an online app with good old-fashioned community partnership work.

The programme is run through partners including the voluntary sector, libraries, leisure centres and Sandwell and  West Birmingham Hospital which are supported to establish their own bespoke weight management support groups tailored to the needs of the people who use their services.

All of these partners are trained to run the programme effectively and they support their clients with access to the smart scales which allow people to weight themselves independently, receive real-time weight data through their smart phones, and track and monitor their weight through the app.

The programme allows people to be in control of their own weight management plans while harnessing the power of local community groups to offer support.

There are no joining fees, no pricey diet products and no stigma involved in the programme.

Lisa McNally, Sandwell's director of public health, said: "We are proud that our public health employees have won another top award and Maxine has helped so many people on their weight loss journey."

The programme has proven to be popular and Maxine's analysis of the data shows that hundreds of people have engaged with the programme and been successful in achieving  a healthier weight.

Library manager, Jean Fenn, said: Library customers can monitor and access information about their weight and BMI. This is a great weight management tool and it's so easy to use. The scales are used by individuals and groups and are a great addition to our health and well-being resources.

Jenny Wright, health and wellbeing manager for Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospital NHS Trust, said: "The programme has been a huge success with NHS employees and subsequently NHS  staff have encouraged patient groups to participate in the programme through local community groups."