Glasgow and Clyde’s Director of Public Health, Dr Linda de Caestecker, has praised staff in healthcare facilities across Glasgow and Clyde, including acute and mental health hospitals, for all their hard work in identifying and promoting health improvement opportunities.
The concept that ‘every healthcare contact is a health improvement opportunity’, whether it be for patients, their families, or staff, is now recognised as an important contribution to the health and wellbeing of Glasgow and Clyde’s population.
In the last year alone, across Greater Glasgow and Clyde, more than 22,000 hospital based referrals have been made to a range of support projects. Our smoking cessation service is now supporting unprecedented numbers of people hoping to quit with a 15% increase this year.
Referrals to our alcohol brief intervention service, which supports people with an alcohol dependence, has increase to more than 5,200, and our weight management service has seen a 5% rise.
There have also been more than 6,000 people who have accessed support through our Support and Information Service which provides advice on managing specific conditions including complex cases.
Dr de Caestecker said: “In line with guidance from the Chief Medical Officer in Scotland, staff caring for patients in hospitals take appropriate opportunities to remind people about the importance of healthy lifestyles.
“They also take the time to find out and support patients’ and families’ wider emotional, social and financial needs. It is then possible to refer people for support in adopting healthier lifestyles or develop support plans after discharge from hospital.
“A significant amount of people attending our hospitals for investigation or treatment are also guided to services that can have positive effect on the wider aspects of their lives.
“Health and wellbeing can be improved not just through medical interventions. By offering people access to a range of support services such as money advice, physical activity, weight management support, smoking cessation advice and alcohol interventions, we can ensure people maximise their health and wellbeing.
“Doctors, nurses and therapists in our acute hospitals are routinely identifying patients and their families who are at risk of poverty or inequality and by working with community colleagues and third sector organisations providing families and individuals with the knowledge of where and how to access any additional support they need.
“We have already seen a 79% increase in referrals to physical activity support with a large number being referred from our oncology, cardiac, respiratory and stroke services.”
As well as patients, their families and visitors, staff can also access support through a range of staff initiatives including active travel which has seen a 5% rise compared with last year, health behaviour training, financial advice and support for staff with carer responsibilities in line with the Carer Positive Employer Scheme.
Debbie Schofield, Public Health Programme Manager, added: “It is wonderful to be able to report progress and improvements in supporting people in and beyond hospital.
“The success to date is a result of the efforts and enthusiasm of a wide range of teams across the organisation and I am very grateful for their continued support.
“The programme has focused on making it as easy as possible for staff, patients and visitors to talk about things that may be impacting on their wellbeing and access the services that can help.”
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