Solihull residents who are invited to lifestyle checks following a referral from their local GP Practice are feeling the benefit of talking about their health concerns.
The checks, which have been offered over the past few months, provide support and information on a number of issues such as weight loss, smoking, blood pressure and nutrition.
Patients are identified by their GP practice, in this case as having high blood pressure, they are then booked in for a lifestyle check with The Solihull Lifestyle Service (delivered by Gateway Family Services who are commissioned by the Council), they then feed back to the practice who then continue to look at the longer term support and care their patient may need.
These checks are as a result of close collaboration between Solihull Council, Solihull GP practices (NHS primary care networks (PCN): North Solihull PCN, GPS Healthcare PCN, Solihull Healthcare Partnership PCN, South Central PCN and Solihull Rural PCN), and the Council’s commissioned provider to provide enhanced support to patients. Some of the positive feedback so far includes:
Female 40's referred by GP.
I've been worrying that my blood pressure was still high as I haven't been checked for 18 months. Really pleased that it's back to normal! I can relax now.
Male 50's referred by GP.
I have felt really listened to and understood today. I had some health concerns, and my blood pressure is a little on the high side. You have shown me and explained some ways to look at and address this. As a smoker I am really pleased you have also referred me to your quit smoking service. I am ready to quit. Thank you
Male 70's referred by GP.
Gosh, I thought my blood pressure was okay but after your check it's obviously not as good as I thought. Thanks for flagging this with the doctor and pharmacist. I'm pleased to be getting sent a blood pressure monitor so I can record and feedback to the GP.
Councillor Tony Dicicco, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health at Solihull Council, commented:
“I’d firstly like to thank everyone involved for developing this initiative.
“These checks offer invaluable support including checking blood pressure, answering questions and offering advice. People who have already used the service have found the main benefit is having their hypertension worries put at rest by seeing a trained professional face to face, even if this isn’t in their normal GP setting.”
Dr Sunil Kotecha, GP Partner and Clinical Director at Solihull Healthcare Partnership PCN, said:
“We are delighted to be working in partnership with our Primary Care Network colleagues across Solihull, and proud to be part of this multi partner collaboration focused on prevention and offering lifestyle checks to the residents of Solihull from the SHP Monkspath Healthcare Hub.
The lifestyle checks are a great opportunity for the local patient population to receive support and be signposted to services that can help improve their health and lifestyle needs, as well as being referred back to the GP Practice for any medical care needs or intervention required following their lifestyle check.”
Jemma Abbott, Service Lead, Solihull Lifestyle Service said:
“It’s been great working so closely with local authority and NHS colleagues to create lifestyle checks for Solihull residents who have been identified by their GP practice. We are able to offer tailored advice and support to individuals who want to make healthy changes in their life.
“The checks include an initial assessment, before assigning a Community Wellbeing Adviser who is there to help residents identify the lifestyle changes they can make, giving them encouragement, motivation and practical help to make those changes. We then refer patients back to their practice for any ongoing medical care that is required.
“Additionally, we have specialist behaviour change advisors too that can provide more intensive support if needed. We know this kind of support is key in helping residents to reach their goals, for example people are four times more likely to quit smoking through a combination of stop smoking treatment and support from a NHS Stop Smoking Service.
“If you or someone you know would like to find out more then please get in touch by phoning 0800 599 9880 and ask about the Solihull Integrated Lifestyle Service, or complete an online referral form.”