Inspiring Healthy Groups programme wins Self Care Innovation Award
Ahead of Self Care Week (14 – 20 November), which has the theme of Exercise Self Care For Life, an inspired video group clinic project designed to give people more time to talk about what matters to them and shift the conversations to patient values has been named as winner of this year’s Self Care Innovation Award by the Self Care Forum.
The programme which is called Healthy Groups and is developed by a cross-disciplinary team in primary care and social care working collaboratively across South Northamptonshire and North Oxfordshire delivered 31 healthy group clinics for patients with complex long term conditions from 9 practices across the region.
Up to 10 people with similar health conditions or concerns attended structured sessions run by a trained facilitator with a health coach background. As well as having clinicians answer questions and concerns during the sessions, attendees often support each other and problem solves together. Making the whole experience empowering for patients and highly rewarding for clinicians who have more time with their patients to deliver personalised care.
Patient feedback about the project was incredibly positive with almost 80 per cent of attendees reportedly feeling “better” or “much better” in being able to help themselves with their illness because of the group clinics.
Speaking about the programme, Self Care Forum Chair, Helen Donovan said “The use of video and digital platforms here provided an innovative and sustainable way to deliver group sessions, which we know are tried and tested in supporting people. They also make a real difference to patient care and provide empowering and transforming self care, as well as being highly replicable.”
Former GP and Self Care Forum President, Dr Pete Smith added “This project is a ground-breaking demonstration of the power of group clinics, which not only have the potential to increase people’s ability to self care but can also help reduce social isolation and give clinicians a sense of job-satisfaction due to them spending more time with patients, something than cannot be underestimated.”
For more information about the quality of the entries for the 2022 awards from the judges, go to the end of the page.
Highly Commended - The Power of Self Care: The NHS and Beyond
Cirencester based Patient Participation Groups (PPGs) came a very close second with their initiative; a highly collaborative day-long event to engage, educate and empower local people to understand their physical health and mental wellbeing and in doing so adopt a “self care for life” approach.
Highly Commended - UTime Staff Wellbeing Initiative
Dorset charity, Help and Care implemented a simple initiative which allows overwhelmed, ‘time-poor’ staff to plan time for self-care, helping with resilience and to lead by example. Self-care could help many people with long term health conditions, but it’s deemed by many as a luxury item. Modern society often praises ‘busyness’ not ‘wellbeing;’ this initiative starts to redress this unhelpful balance across its Dorset-wide client base too.
Highly Commended - Digital Behaviour Change
Kingston Council’s Public Health Team implemented a targeted digital behaviour campaign across the region using advanced digital marketing practices, behaviour change methodology and local service/community knowledge to encourage self care behaviour. Focusing on targeted strands across 5 areas: 1) Over 50’s; 2) drive uptake of new weight management services amongst men; 3) signpost to Connected Kingston 4) vaccination promotion and 5) campaigns for younger residents.
Shortlisted - Self Care Toolkits
North Yorkshire Library Service devised a Self Care Toolkit, which is a portable collection of items, books and activities designed to encourage young people (11+) to practice self-care and enhance mental wellbeing. 50 kits can be borrowed from 42 libraries across the region and can be used either by individuals or groups of people at home, in the library setting or in the community. This is a highly replicable initiative which supports young people’s self care knowledge and understanding.
Shortlisted - MSK Connect
Keighley Healthy Living (KHL), through GP referrals, identified people living with musculoskeletal conditions and chronic pain. Working closely with them to understand their abilities and wishes, KHL signposted people into a broad range of physical activity options, from very gentle to more condition-specific that met their needs and that supported their ability to self-care and better manage their conditions.
Shortlisted - Healthy Eating Group
Heaton Road GP Surgery in Newcastle used a basic NHS 12 week printed guide which focussed on exercise and healthy eating tips to empower people with face to face interactive sessions during a 12 week programme. Each week had a different focus such as fibre, exercise, the importance of breakfast, food cravings and snacking, drink etc. As well as encouraging a healthy lifestyle, the sessions helped participants with social isolation, confidence and friendship building.
Shortlisted - Employee Support and Wellbeing Service
To address Warrington Borough Council’s employee absenteeism, it’s Human Resources Department implemented an Employee Support Service to support employees to maintain or improve their health and wellbeing. Devising resources and programmes which focused on relaxation, mindfulness, peer support and other initiatives to help empower people in their physical and mental wellbeing at work.
Self Care Innovation Award judges expressed their views on the quality and innovation of the Top 8 award entries:
Dr Michelle Howarth, Self Care Forum Trustee and Senior Engagement Fellow at Edge Hill University said “The quality of this year’s applications has been outstanding and has stretched the ‘Art of the Possible’ for innovative approaches to self care that make a difference to people’s lives. The overall impact of the projects highlighted the range of often ‘unseen’ work being undertaken; applications this year have been amazing across organisations and communities. Truly inspirational.”
Dr Samuel Finnikin, GP, Sutton Coldfield Group Practice said: “It was a pleasure to read through the self care innovation award entries. It was such a diverse and innovative collection of initiatives that embodied the principles of self care.
“It was great to see projects that identified areas of real need and worked with communities to provide much needed support. Many of the ideas were beautifully simple, but it took work and dedication to overcome the implementation challenges. I hope that by sharing these ideas, people across the country will be inspired to replicate, iterate, and innovate to provide a whole host of new self-care projects over the years to come.”
Dr Mohan-pal Singh Chandan, GP, Bearwood Medical Practice said: “It has been a pleasure to learn about these self-care innovation projects which have shown great results in supporting people and communities to self-care. Every credit goes to the passionate teams and individuals who have done amazing work in conducting these projects despite the context of the pandemic and broader current challenges. I hope that their efforts, ideas, and results will inspire others to work to promote self care in innovative ways both at small and large scales.”
David Skinner, CEO of the International Self Care Foundation, said: “Well-designed and helpful initiatives to support self care through resources on mental well-being, nutrition and other aspects of the Seven Pillars of Self care.”