Before you judge a person you should walk a mile in their shoes, goes the famous maxim.

Or to quote Billy Connolly: “Never judge a man before you have walked a mile in his shoes, then you’re a mile away, and you’ve got his shoes”.

Staff at one hospital have taken the empathy-through-inconvenience model a stage further, strapping staff into a fat suit to gain an insight into the difficulties faced by their obese, bariatric surgery patients.

The £1,000 suit helps the moving and handling team at Peterborough City Hospital to understand what weighing 40 stone feels like.

This not only increases empathy but will hopefully reduce the number of injuries to staff and patients.

Obviously this is a serious issue. But the trust took delivery of the fat suit in December and it is hard to imagine that it didn’t make some kind of appearance at the Christmas party. Or that it won’t become a fixture at leaving-dos, birthdays and, inevitably, disciplinary proceedings.