Live Well: promoting health and wellbeing

Live Well is a new initiative in Essex, focused on patient education, which seeks to support and promote health and wellbeing and is the combined work of Essex County Council and Clinical Commissioning Groups and other partners. Practice Business learns more about how it’s empowering patients to take ownership of their health

In a bid to engage people in their own health care, Live Well seeks to engage communities, families and individuals and provide information about all that is on offer in Essex to improve health and wellbeing. At the heart of the project is the understanding that – with mounting pressure on healthcare services – it’s important to collectively develop solutions that contribute towards wellbeing and, in so doing, improve health outcomes while reducing the cost to the NHS of social care and health.

Live Well is an initiative based in collaboration and brings together Essex local authorities and a number of select partners to develop a health and wellbeing agenda and work towards improved health outcomes for people across Essex.

Everyone’s got to start somewhere

At the heart of the Live Well campaign sit six themes that have been identified as essential to delivering the health and wellbeing programme.

These are

  1. startwell: Giving children the best start in life – which is based on a family approach.
  2. staywell: Clinical wellbeing, a state of health – which includes working together with the community and professionals to ensure our residents have access to the best clinical services.
  3. feelwell: A state of mental wellbeing in which every individual realises his or her potential and can cope with the normal stresses of life – which requires a focus on improving the access to services that address mental wellbeing.
  4. eatwell: Healthy eating means consuming the right type and quantity of food from all food groups in order to lead a healthy life – to do this the campaign seeks to raise awareness across Essex about healthier eating.
  5. bewell: People of all ages, shapes, sizes and abilities can benefit from being physically active – the campaign encourages more people to undertake regular physical activity, which will, in turn, produce longer term health benefits
  6. agewell: Plan now for the future, for a healthier retirement – by setting the foundations now, Live Well aims to encourage people to look at improving their health and wellbeing now, to be able to lead a better quality of life in the future and to encourage and provide opportunity for our elderly population to be more active during their retirement years.

Understanding your health

One area of focus is patient education – providing life-long health support by enabling people to manage their own.

This has seen The Sound Doctor, a social enterprise focused on effective patient education, team up with the Essex County Council and Essex CCGs on the Live Well campaign.

The Sound Doctor produces patient education videos designed to help healthcare professionals advise and support their patients. These videos are being offered as part of the Live Well campaign to engage families and individuals – promoting health and wellbeing in the county of Essex by providing high-quality information and solutions.

In making available hundreds of bite-size educational videos for the Live Well campaign website, The Sound Doctor will provide a valuable and interactive element to the initiative.

Rosie Runciman, co-founder of The Sound Doctor, said: “We are thrilled to be working with local authorities across Essex through partnering with Essex County Council and Essex CCGs. From our perspective, the Live Well project demonstrates how we can make health information both engaging and accessible and we look forward to implementing this formula in our work with other CCGs”.

The videos are between three to five minutes in length and will provide accessible information to those who are interested in how to maintain and improve their health and wellbeing. They feature clinical experts and have been backed by leading disease-specific charities, such as British Heart Foundation, Alzheimer’s Society and the British Lung Foundation. Topics include diabetes, COPD, back pain, heart failure, dementia and weight management surgery.

Dr Kashif Siddiqui, local GP and chair for NHS Castle Point and Rochford Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “Whether you have a long-term condition or caring for someone that does, it’s important to feel in control and confident.”

He continued: “The Sound Doctor is a tool that offers high-quality information, giving you the confidence to manage your own health allowing you to continue your day-to-day life as much as possible. The Sound Doctor videos are full of information that people often forget to ask during a GP appointment, it is available 24/7 and you can also hear from other patients who are facing the same conditions.”

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