It hasn't been easy, as the standard of entry has been so high, but after much debate and deliberation, the final entrants in each category for the NiP Awards 2008 have been chosen. Here is one example of those projects that made the shortlist.
Over the past four years Inchpark Surgery in Edinburgh has developed a Healthy Lifestyle Group that meets once a fortnight. It is open to all patients in the practice but particularly those with chronic diseases who present with a body mass index (BMI) of >25.
The group is run by a practice nurse and a dietitian, with a rolling programme of six sessions. Within this agenda there are various talks on all aspects of a healthy lifestyle including: sugar, fats, salt, alcohol, portion sizes, cooking tips, food labelling, motivation, mobility and exercise, with multidisciplinary skills drafted into various parts of the programme. The end result is a rotating group that motivates itself, has user ownership and gathers the impetus to reduce the nations gross weight by a few inches.
Group therapy is not the answer for everyone, so each person is treated individually. One-to-one sessions are offered and during every consultation opportunity is taken to promote wellbeing and a healthy lifestyle. The attendees are empowered to gain an understanding into the reasons for their eating habits and whether there is room for change. Motivation for change is discussed at every session as this is the most important aspect that will increase weight awareness and a consequent reduction in weight.
Ruth E Aird, senior practice nurse at Inchpark Surgery, concludes: "It is fairly certain that in the future obesity will have increased targets and primary care should be gearing itself into motion to address this emotive task."
The Nursing in Practice Awards 2008 rewards best practice in a variety of clinical areas, and are designed to recognise excellence and innovation in the primary care setting.
Would you like to see a similar programme rolled out in your area? Or is there one already in place? Your comments: (Terms and conditions apply)
"Yes I would love to set up a similar programme in our practice and would welcome any advice on how to start." - Fiona Jeffries, Sheffield
"I managed the Specialist Weight Management Service (SWiMS) from 2002 for Newcastle PCT. It was a nurse-led, multidisciplinary service that evaluated well. I was the first nurse in the country to supply Orlistat(Xenical) using a PGD. However, recently the commissioners decided in their wisdom they wished to commission a 'scaled-down' service. I like to think that SWiMS was one of the first community-based obesity services and others have emulated the model we developed." - Wendy Hicks, Newcastle Upon Tyne
"I support a programme to help people lose weight - but do not feel that I have the skills needed to explain the psychology behind why people make unhealthy choices nor really tackle those issues. As part of a team trying to motivate uptake of healthier lifestyles - wouldn't that be sensible? Any courses available to explore these issues?" - Jeanne McComasky, Germany
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