O. M. A.

Obesity Management Association

Code of Ethics, Membership Rules and Guidelines

 The Obesity Management Association monitor, promote and develop the medical treatment of obesity


1. General Medical Council

All Doctors must adhere to the General Medical Council's guidelines on Good Medical Practice issued from time to time.

2. Qualifications

2.1.      All doctors must hold evidence of their qualification to practice in the UK.
2.2.      All doctors must be registered fully with the General Medical Council.
2.3.      All doctors must be fully insured.
2.4.      All doctors must have had suitable training on weight management.
2.5.      All ancillary staff including trainers, dieticians and nurses must hold appropriate qualifications.

3. General

3.1.      Clinics must be able to provide each patient with information and professional advice on diets, exercise, lifestyle changes and counselling and Medication. 
3.2.      Patients must be treated in close supervision by the doctor and must be reviewed by the doctor regularly.
3.3.      A doctor should complete a proper medical history and arrange relevant tests and physical examinations before medication is prescribed. Full and accurate medical records for each patient must be kept and maintained on the premises.
3.4.      Where the patient has not been referred by a General Practitioner, permission to inform the patient's GP must be requested. However, the patient's right not to inform their GP must be respected.
3.5.      Medication may only be prescribed by a doctor.
3.6.      Medication may only be supplied in appropriate dosages.
3.7.      Each patient must receive a written record informing them of their treatment programme.
3.8.      Access to patient's medical records must be in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998.

4. Diet and Exercise

4.1.      Clinical doctors should have experience of various dietary and exercise regimes.
4.2.      Dietary advice may only be given by a doctor, nurse or dietician with the relevant experience and exercise should be encouraged and advised.
4.3.      Maintenance diets and programmes must be available.
4.4.      Diet record sheets should be used where possible.
4.5.      It is desirable that when necessary exercise regimes with advice, trainers and equipment can be recommended.

5. Medication

5.1.      Prescribed medication must be licensed or alternatively on clinical trials or on a specials licence.
5.2.      Anorectics should be used within their clinical specification. 
5.3.      Prescribers are advised that they are responsible for the safety of medicines including specials.  Medication (with the exception of OTC products) with no efficacy must not be used.
5.4.      Discretionary use of other medications will be acceptable in certain circumstances where it is considered appropriate taking into account clinical judgement, the patient's needs and likely effectiveness of the treatment.
5.5.      Inappropriate treatments should not be used.
5.6.      Guidelines for new medicines will be provided by the manufacturer.

6. Surgery

6.1.      Morbid obesity may require surgery.  Referral programmes should be made available in selected cases (on the basis of clinical need).

7. Audit/Professional Training

7.1.      Clinical and medical audits are essential. Each year a self-assessment audit will be conducted by each member, this will be subject to a peer-group review. Where audit results require improvements in the practice, continuous professional development training must be undertaken, in addition to such steps as those required to achieve the improvement identified as necessary. The Association has the right to appoint an external examiner to visit each member.
7.2.      All doctors must attend training and scientific meetings on a regular basis of an aggregate duration of at least one week per calendar year in addition to any training required as a result of the clinical or medical audit.
7.3.      All staff should be encouraged to undertake continuous professional development to achieve higher qualifications.
7.4.      Standard records with unified consent forms in either hard copy or electronic formats will be completed detailing full information of treatments.

8. Premises

8.1.      The premises to be used for slimming clinics must be suitable for use as a doctors' consulting room.
8.2.      The premises must have a legal lease and have all necessary planning permissions required for use as clinical consulting rooms.
8.3.      The doctors' consulting rooms must be separate from the reception area and afford the patient complete privacy.  
8.4.      Church halls, community centres, hotel rooms, public houses, service offices and shops do not constitute a suitable consulting room environment for the treatment of obesity. 


9. Equipment

All premises must be properly equipped and contain appropriate emergency and fire equipment.  Essential equipment includes but is not limited to:

(a)        Professional certified scales, either electric or beam;
(b)        Body fat analyser;
(c)        Sphygmomanometer;
(d)        Height gauge and tape measure;
(e)        Stethoscope;
(f)         Access to blood testing facilities;
(g)        Approved drug safe;
(h)        Sharps bin and clinical waste bin;

10. Membership

10.1.     Payment of membership fees will be in the following manner
(a)        50% of fee paid upon application by cheque.
(b)        Annually on 01 of July.
(c)        Members joining part way through the year will be charged a monthly Pro-rata based on the annual fee.
(d)        In the event that the membership application is rejected by the Association the initial payment will be retained to cover administration costs.
10.2.     Members do not have the right to speak to the media on behalf of the Association. All media enquiries should be directed to the Executive Officer of the Association.
10.3.     Advertising should not breach ethical codes and the information provided should be factual, verifiable and conform to the guidance issued by the Medicines Control Agency and the Advertising Standards Authority.
10.4.     In accordance with the Memorandum & Articles of the Association, any member found to be in breach of the rules will be suspended in order that a review may be conducted as stated in the Articles of Association and disciplinary code and the supply of medication from registered suppliers will cease from that date.