Wider doors and larger sofas that can support weight of 50st at Britain's first 'obesity clinic'
22:29 GMT, 14 April 2012
Britain's first super-sized clinic designed especially for obese patients has opened.
The private clinic has doors 50 per cent wider than normal and toilets and sofas that can support a weight of 50st.
It is intended to offer 'dignity and humanity' to patients seeking treatment such as gastric band surgery.
The super-sized clinic designed especially for obese patients has opened in Harrow, west London
The Sudbury Clinic in Harrow, west London, has been designed – at a cost of hundreds of thousands of pounds – to protect extra-large patients from embarrassment.
While a standard-sized door is about 2ft 6in wide, the internal and external doors in the clinic have been extended to just under 4ft wide so the largest patients can pass through easily.
The sofas are 4in higher off the ground than normal sofas to make it easier for patients to get in and out of them, while the clinic's weighing scales measure up to 80st, compared with the standard 25st.
They do not have a display, instead the readings are sent to a monitor on the doctor's desk.
The Sudbury Clinic in Harrow, west London, operates out of Clementine Churchill Hospital, among other locations
About 40 per cent of the staff have been through weight-loss treatments and asked for a job at the centre to help others.
Doctors say patients treated there have reported 'feeling human for the first time'.
Surgeon Shaw Somers, one of the clinic's founders, said larger patients hated being in normal waiting rooms where 'normal-sized people just point, or talk about them'.
He said: 'There's nothing more embarrassing that an overweight person going to a normal clinic, squeezing into a chair and the legs buckle. That has happened in some NHS clinics we've worked in.
'We felt this was an investment worth making. There's an epidemic of obesity in the UK.'
The clinic will mainly treat private patients. A gastric band operation will cost up to 6,500 and there will also be dietary advice and education on offer.