THOUSANDS of pounds have been spent on extricating extremely obese Hampshire residents from their homes over the past five years.

New figures show that Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service attended 80 incidents in which they helped ambulance crews remove excessively overweight patients from their properties.

Most of the rescues took more than 45 minutes – and in one case firefighters were tied up for more than four hours.

Thousands of Hampshire children are leaving primary school obese, with hundreds more severely overweight.

Figures from the Local Government Association show that 3,900 (29.4 per cent) ten and 11-year-olds were overweight when they moved up to secondary school in the 2016/17 academic year.

Fire services across the country were involved in 851 ‘bariatric assistance’ cases in the same period.

Crews attend when paramedics discover that patients needing hospital treatment are unable to leave their homes without specialist help.

The average cost of a callout is said to £400.