Tag: lifestyle

Lifestyle services working together

Birmingham City Council are seeking views on current lifestyle services from the people who use them or link in with them – and you’ve got until this Sunday, 2nd March Monday 31st March* to have your say.

Lifestyle services include our very own Health Trainers and Lighten Up, but also services like Be Active, Health Checks and Stop Smoking Services. The council wants to hear what works well and how they could improve services in the future. As the Be Heard website explains, they think a more integrated approach may be the way forward:

The traditional approach to improving lifestyles in the City has been to focus on individual service areas that do not necessarily complement each other. This has led to specific programmes for stopping smoking, healthy weight and others. In the more deprived areas of Birmingham many of these programmes and services target the same groups(s) of people (e.g. a person that is quitting smoking may also benefit from physical activity or weight management services). Moving towards an integrated approach that helps people tackle different issues may help ensure services are more easily accessible.

We agree that it makes sense for services to work together in a more joined-up way. It would be good for clients to have a single point of contact to arrange access for all the health and lifestyle services.

Treating the whole person

Health Trainers build up relationships with their clients over time; they have a holistic approach, which is why they signpost people to other services. As we’ve said before on this blog, we often find that a Health Trainer’s encouragement, in a one to one session, can help people to kick-start a “chain” of lifestyle changes. But it would be even better if they didn’t then have to send clients back to their GP to get the referrals they need.


What our clients say

Health Trainer clients Craig, Annette and Maureen all received encouragement from their Health Trainers, together with signposting to other services, which led to some big lifestyle changes. You can hear them talking about their experiences in this audio clip:

Have your say

Whether you’ve used any of the city’s lifestyle services before, or even if you’ve only thought about it, we’d like to encourage you to tell the Council what you think.

And if you feel that Gateway already helps to “simplify the referral pathway”, then do let them know that too!

Visit the Be Heard website to answer the online questionnaire.

*The consultation deadline has been extended. Please check the Be Heard website for the latest details.

Losing 5 stone? That’ll be the Health Trainers

Health Trainer Paul Clarke’s client, Jenny*, was referred into the Health Trainer Service as she wanted to lose a bit of weight and also was very keen on learning more about healthy eating.

Sitting down and discussing her lifestyle, Jenny was easily able to identify the reasons behind her problems in losing weight. She also explained that she had managed to quit smoking with the help of Call to Quit, and identified that the constant support and weekly monitoring really assisted in her achievement her goal of quitting. Jenny said that she was able to give up smoking because of all the support she had.

Jenny and Paul decided that weekly monitoring would really help with weight loss.  Paul explained to Jenny about the Lighten Up programme which would help her to receive the support she required with losing weight.

Paul encouraged her to attend a trial session at Weight Watchers to make sure she enjoyed the programme. Paul and Jenny were both happy with the programme and indeed Jenny had lost 4lbs in the first session!

Following on from this, Jenny had lost a further 9lbs, taking her weight loss  to 13lbs. Although she was happy that she was losing weight and had almost lost a stone to this point, and had set herself a target of losing a total of 55lbs – with the support of Paul and Lighten Up

Over the next 10 weeks Jenny lost   40lbs  – Which was AMAZING!! Her BMI had also decreased in this time from 31 to 24

Although the progress Jenny made was excellent, she was still determined to lose the final 6lbs to reach her target weightloss of 60lbs. Within 3 weeks of her final appointment she contacted Paul to confirm the good news that she had lost the final 6lbs she had hoped for.

In total, Jenny lost 68lbs, or an equivalent of 4 stone and 12 pounds and has vowed to keep strict on her lifestyle choices and is enjoying the time being able to be more active with her daughter.

A great example of working together, well done, Jenny Paul and the Lighten Up team.

*names changed to protect identity