Praise for Self-Care Innovation ahead of National Self Care Week

Praise for Self-Care Innovation ahead of National Self Care Week

Announcing the winner and highly commended entries of the Self Care Innovation Awards ahead of National Self Care Week (13 – 19 November), Self Care Forum chair, Helen Donovan praised the excellence in self-care that takes place across communities in the UK.

“Each year I am amazed by the outstanding self-care initiatives highlighted by our Awards, it is a pleasure to be able to celebrate the wonderful and inspiring work of our winner and highly commended entries for 2023”, said Ms Donovan.

Winner: WellAware Health and Wellbeing IAG Network

This year the overall winner is The Care Forum with its WellAware Health and Wellbeing IAG Network. A Bristol-based charity, The Care Forum helps to support health and wellbeing through its wide-ranging social prescription and information programme which engages and empowers people.

Self Care Forum president, Dr Pete Smith said “the impact of WellAware on people’s health outcomes and in addressing health inequalities in Bristol and South Gloucestershire is truly impressive.  It is a valuable resource for the public, for carers and relatives and for health and social care professionals.  WellAware also supports people who are digitally excluded, whilst the service is also accessible to marginalised and minority groups”.

Dr John Chisholm, Self Care Forum Trustee and chair of the Men’s Health Forum noted that the programme is not cheap to implement, costing £120k over 3 years.  “However, over the same timeframe, its social return on investment is almost £748k. This means it is a cost-effective model for similar services to be rolled out throughout the UK, which would help more people to self-care, increase health literacy and reduce health inequalities in our communities”.

Two further entries came a very close second to the winning programme and were highly commended for their innovation in tackling work-related self-care and lifestyle changes. 

Highly commended: Fedcap’s Health and Wellbeing Service

Although the benefits of work on the health of individuals is well known, there are large numbers of people who do not feel able to work because of ill health.  To address this, employability provider Fedcap has developed a health and wellbeing service with a “Work First, Health Enabler” approach. Using evidence-based interventions, Fedcap supports people to overcome health barriers by equipping them with strategies to help them manage their condition.  They use a variety of self-care practices to help build confidence and put coping strategies in place which support people in to work.  Once in work, Fedcap continues to support people’s self-care practices, helping them to continue to look after their health and wellbeing. Fedcap’s exceptional programme has helped 1000s of people with self-care techniques.

Highly commended: Group lifestyle clinics and fitness club

Using the power harnessed from facilitated group settings, The Lifestyle Clinic encourages patients to become more self-care aware in making positive lifestyle changes.  Delivered by 8 practices from Leamington Primary Care Network, The Lifestyle Clinic helps patients think about why and how they might make positive changes to their life through a series of weekly sessions which focus on 4 self-care areas: links between health and happiness, food and nutrition, behaviour change, and community and physical activity.  Each session is led by a Lifestyle GP or Health and Wellbeing coach and ends with a 30-minute walk.  This entry is outstanding.  It’s simple, inexpensive, and easy to replicate.  It is hoped that it being highly commended will stimulate the will among other Primary Care Networks, and local health organisations to implement something similar.

Another of our Self Care Innovation Award judges, David Skinner, CEO of the International Self-Care Foundation said  “The entries for the 2023 Awards have been very impressive. The efforts made to implement self-care projects and measure their impact clearly demonstrates a growing strength of commitment to self-care and its contribution to healthcare and personal wellbeing.”

The top eight Self Care Innovation Awards have been added to the Self Care Forum website to share best practice of self-care and to provide inspiration for other local organisations to implement similar self-care innovation and help people’s health literacy. 

We would like to thank the International Self-Care Foundation (ISF) for its continued support in providing the prize pot which is given to some of the top entries of the Self Care Innovation Awards.