Health and care without boundaries


Wouldn’t it be amazing to see health and
care without boundaries the NHS working with local authorities for the benefit
of the local population now that would change everything District councils aren’t funded for Public Health but they do provide a
range of services which are absolutely critical to people’s health
for example housing environmental health leisure critically planning and the
management of own spaces. This project came out of a conversation I had with
the GP that got me thinking about issues that the district council could help
with. We brought in a health coach We jointly funded that position along with the GP surgery and also our leisure providers Freedom
Leisure. Alan and I retired 20 years ago We had a really good 20 years of healthy
smashing times We were very lucky Things began to change when we both got to our middle 70s Alan had the beginnings of dementia. Unfortunately he did succumb
to that rather nasty disease, and I found myself without him after 53 years of
marriage which – not good. Music had been my life ln the weeks following Alan’s death
I gave away all my music I was isolating myself The doctor said would you be prepared to see a health coach Angela is typically
the type of patient we get in the Health Centre we have a rural population a lot
of our elderly patients live on farms which can be very isolated they very
often have a significant number of long term medical conditions 20% of patients make
up close to 80% to the workload a lot of their issues can be dealt with very ably by
a lot of our community partners The reason this is different from other
health coaching is because it is direct referral from doctors so they’re sending
me their patients because they clearly want me to see them it might be people
who’ve had stroke it could be people who are recovering from cancer it could be
people who again are just socially isolated. By actually putting them in
walking groups it teaches them to start to enjoy walking again and obviously
increasing benefits of cardiovascular system improving mood and well-being
helping to reduce anxiety and depression and also they can meet people During the course of seeing the health coach I discovered that there was a choir
starting up and to my absolute amazement I enjoyed it When you sing you have to
breathe so when you’re breathing you’re helping your diaphragm people who have
pulmonary conditions particularly it’s beneficial because it helps them breathe
more evenly We’re giving people the tools the skills to self care to
self-regulate and to manage their condition and therefore feel so good in
themselves about themselves with what they’re achieving that makes it
sustainable From my perspective as a GP I think there are two things that would
really help for the future the first is we need to find ways to keep people well
at home to empower them to look after themselves at home and the second is to
think about wider determinants of health particularly things around housing parks
planning education because all those things will be the things that actually
help people stay in their own home and keep well This project has now been
expanded courtesy of the Clinical Commissioning group to cover a much
wider area The message to NHS colleagues will be engage with your district
councils they’ve got an awful lot to offer they can help you with planning
issues in particular on health care infrastructure but critically they’ve
got community leadership skills To district councils you know there’s
nothing more important to you than a health and well-being of your residents
the services you provide are a perfect opportunity to engage with health care
colleagues to try to ensure the maximum benefit for the people you represent It has kick-started me into really thinking about my health what I’m doing in the
years that I’ve got left I feel good

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