Close to half of the burden of illness in developed countries is associated with the four main unhealthy behaviours; smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, poor diet and low levels of physical activity. These behaviours are major risk factors for all the main causes of mortality in Leicester (cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancers and respiratory conditions). In addition, unhealthy behaviours are clustered, with seven out of ten adults in the UK having two or more lifestyle risk factors. Supporting the people of Leicester 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.
Following an extensive engagement process Leicester City Council and Leicester City CCG identified that there was a great deal of confusion surrounding the multiple referral pathways amongst the GP population for lifestyle services. This led to a lack of uptake of many services, an over investment in promotion and marketing, a high unit cost of delivery and ultimately not realising the benefit of their investment.
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 Leicester 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. As part of this development clients are now able to manage their own appointments on-line, complete on-line lifestyle assessments and set new goals with remote support of the Get Healthy Coach.
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 service and to commissioners a button click away.
It’s still early days but the initial results are exceedingly positive. In the first month we have received over 300 referrals into the hub, started over 100 health plans and engaged with all city GP practices.