What to Expect

Introduction

If your GP is concerned about your child’s weight, he/she may refer your child to a medical consultant based at Temple Street Children’s University Hospital. Your child’s consultant may then refer them to the W82GO Weight Management Team. When we receive the referral from the consultant, your child’s name is added to our waiting list. 

The first appointment that you will receive is for our multidisciplinary assessment clinic (usually 4-8 weeks after referral). These clinics take place on Tuesday mornings and each appointment lasts approximately 90 minutes. This allows the team (the dietitian, the physiotherapist and the psychologist) to meet with you and your child. During the appointment the team will check your child’s growth (height, weight, waist) and development (physical and social. Your child will NOT have a blood test at this clinic. The appointment takes place in the outpatients department of the hospital. The team will discuss possible treatment options with you and your child, offering either a group programme or one to one appointments. The team meet when the clinic ends to discuss all the patients that they have seen and make sure that the most appropriate treatment for each patient will be delivered. For example, some children may be shy and may prefer to have one-to-one treatment whereas others look forward to making new friends in group treatment.

The aim of the treatment (both the Group Programme and the One-to-One appointments) is to help families create a home and lifestyle that promotes health, prevents further weight gain. In addition, treatment aims to reduce the health problems that occur in some children who carry excess weight (e.g high blood pressure, high cholesterol or painful joints). The treatment lasts approximately 12 months and most patients will have 10 – 12 appointments during that time.

Patients for Group Programme

Before the group programme starts, you’ll child will have an exercise test with the Physiotherapist. This is to make sure that it is safe for them to join the exercise sessions that are part of treatment. It also allows the physiotherapist to see what level of fitness your child has and how to plan their exercise/play treatment so that it is as fun and enjoyable as possible. Some patients will also meet with the dietitian and/or the psychologist before the group programme starts. The group programme runs from 17:30 – 19:30 on a weekday evening for 7 consecutive weeks. Every week there is an information session for families which starts with a review of goals from the previous week. The patients will have a weekly exercise session while the parents meet with the dietitian or the psychologist for an additional information/practical session. There will be a shopping trip (parents only) and a cooking demonstration for the whole family hosted in the Aviva stadium. Patients’ measurements are taken at the first (week 1) and last (week 7) session of the programme. 

After the 7 week programme has ended, families return for check-up sessions to help keep the healthy changes on tract. These sessions take place at 1 month, 3 months, 6 months and 9 months following the programme. Families then return at at 12 months for the final discharge appointment. At the discharge appointment the team will discuss with you and your child whether referral to community services is needed or for teenagers whether referral to adult services is needed Group treatment is usually more manageable for families living closer to Dublin and we recommend that after school children eat their dinner before coming to group (rather than waiting to eat dinner after group).

What to bring to group: children will need to wear comfortable clothes to group and to bring a bottle of water with them.  Parents are encouraged to attend together with their child where possible (one parent has to be present at all times) and you may even decide to invite another adult involved in caring for your child to attend group with you (e.g. grandparent, aunt, uncle etc).  At the first session you and your child will be given a group folder and you should bring this with you each week. All phones should be turned to silent during group sessions.

Patients for One-to-One treatment

Families will receive the same information as the families attending the group programme but this will be delivered by a different team member at each appointment. Families attend appointments usually every 4-6 weeks over 12-18 months.

What to bring to one-to-one treatment: children will need to wear comfortable clothes and to bring a bottle of water with them.  Parents are encouraged to attend together with their child where possible (one parent has to be present at all times) and you may even decide to invite another adult involved in caring for your child to attend group with you (e.g. grandparent, aunt, uncle etc).  During sessions you and your child will be given educational materials and the team member you see will advise what to bring with you for the next session. All phones should be turned to silent or power off during treatment sessions.

Team

Left to Right: Catherine Shortall, Senior Dietitian | Helen Riordan, Senior Physiotherapist | Sarah Delaney, Administration | Nicola Sheridan, Senior Physiotherapist | Dr Mary Kelly, Psychologist | Dr Grace O Malley, Clinical Lead | Roisin Thurstan, Service Coordinator