A review of healthy lifestyle services carried out by the Liverpool Public Health Observatory concluded that, “the majority of services reviewed, showed potential to give a return on investment and save future costs due to ill health. The report also found that lifestyle services could provide an effective response to frequent attendees in primary care by tackling the underlying causes of their visits. Many of the services, such as social prescribing, had little or no cost in comparison to medical treatment.
Developing an integrated approach to the provision of healthy lifestyle services has been highlighted as a commissioning priority for Buckinghamshire County Council, and it is well documented that lifestyle issues contribute to poorer health outcomes in poorer areas of Buckinghamshire.
Male life expectancy is more than seven years lower in the most deprived quintile of Buckinghamshire compared to the least (2007-11). For women the difference is just over four years.
There is a 14 year difference in life expectancy between the district council electoral wards with the longest and the shortest life expectancy (2007-11)
The main causes of death in Buckinghamshire are from cardiovascular disease (heart attacks and strokes) and cancers
Supporting the people of Buckinghamshire to live well and reduce unhealthy behaviours will reduce the number of people who develop non-communicable diseases, reducing morbidity and mortality and improving wellbeing.
In the past there has been a tendency to conceptualise health behaviour as separate problems to be addressed by separate services. We developed Get Healthy Bucks to be an integrated, client centred approach to supporting people to attain and maintain good health. To do this we designed two service delivery models:
The Get Healthy Coach
We designed a service delivery model that allowed the team to be entirely field based. Utilising the latest secure mobile technology we integrated our goals management software with our referral management database, creating the Get Healthy Hub.
The Lifestyle Referral Hub
We designed the Get Healthy Hub, an on line data collection and reporting solution enabling our team to centrally manage referrals directly from GP systems, provide ongoing support for clients and follow-up clients within one easy to use application. Get Healthy Hub is used by teams to reduce paperwork, streamline processes and make the reporting of performance within services and to commissioners a button click away.
Following a 12 month pilot of Get Healthy Bucks, the project was recommissioned and rebranded as ‘Live Well Stay Well‘. The project is delivered by Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust and Parkwood Healthcare. It is provided by Buckinghamshire County Council, NHS Aylesbury Vale Clinical Commissioning Group and NHS Chiltern Clinical Commissioning Group and now refers clients not only to lifestyle services but also to long term condition support and diabetes prevention and education programmes.