Get fit for your operation

Help us to help you...get fit for your operation

Help us to help you......

.......Get fit for your operation



Do you know that many life choices can affect your long-term health? For example, being overweight or a smoker can lead to a number of serious, potentially life-threatening conditions. It can also increase you chance of developing complications during or after an operation. However, by taking care of yourself you can reduce these risks.

Health and wellbeing programme

Our health and wellbeing programme aims to make sure you are in the best possible health, and are able to recover better afterwards, when you go for a routine, non-urgent operation.

If you have a BMI of 30 or over, or you are a smoker, you will be encouraged to attend a weight management service or a stop smoking service for a 6-month period. You will receive support to lose weight or quit smoking, to improve your health, reduce the risks and stay healthy before and after your operation.

If you take steps to improve your health and lose weight, you are more likely to have:

  • a faster recovery from your operation
  • better wound healing
  • a shorter stay in hospital
  • no need for intensive care
  • no need for further surgery

Support to lose weight

Support to lose weight front cover

It is easier to stick with a weight loss plan when you have support. If you agree to take part in our health and wellbeing programme, you will join a free weight management service. A Healthy Lifestyle Officer will review your activity levels, diet, past experience, lifestyle goals and interests. Over the 6 months, you will be encouraged and supported to adopt a healthy eating and exercise programme, tailored to your needs to help you in your weight loss journey.

You can check your BMI at

Read our Support to lose weight leaflet for more information.

If you prefer, you can pay to join a weight loss service of your choice. Alternatively, get useful tips on how to improve your diet and lose weight.

Support to stop smoking

Support to quit smoking front cover

Did you know you are four times more likely to quit smoking with help? If you agree to take part in our health and wellbeing programme, you will be encouraged to contact our free health trainers stop smoking service. Healthier futures will help you work out how to start your quit process, set a quit date and provide you with nicotine replacement therapy to support you and help make sure you successful.

You can find out more about the Healthier Futures stop smoking service and arrange an appointment by calling 0330 236 9102

Read our Support to stop smoking leaflet for more information.

Free help and advice is available at smokefree


Exemptions to the programme

Your GP practice will invite you to take part in the health and wellbeing programme if you need a routine, non-urgent operation, have a BMI of 30 or above, or you smoke. There are a number of exemptions, where you will not have to take part in the programme if you:

  • Need urgent or emergency surgery
  • Need surgery for cancer
  • Require tests for suspicion of cancer
  • Have a BMI of 30 or greater, but have a waist measurement less then 94cm/37 inches (if you’re a male) 80cm/31 inches (if you’re a female)
  • Have a severe mental health illness, learning disability or significant cognitive impairment
  • Have been referred for a diagnostic intervention e.g. endoscopy
  • Are under, 18 years of age
  • Are frail
  • Have been referred for eye surgery, dentistry or oral surgery
  • Have a medical condition where BMI is not an appropriate measure
  • Only use electronic cigarettes
  • Require a vasectomy
  • Any procedures under Local Anaesthetic

Questions you may have

Visit the questions and answers page for the most commonly asked questions about our health and wellbeing programme.

To read the feedback report from August 2017 click here.

‘Help Us to Help You – look after your own health’ People running in a park

The NHS faces a number of big challenges with a growing population and increasing costs. The ‘Help Us to Help You’ brochure aims to raise awareness of how we can help people to help themselves by supporting them to take greater control of their health and wellbeing.