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Shaping future healthy lifestyles and wellbeing services

How healthy our diet is, how active we are, whether we smoke or drink, and how connected to our community we feel can have a big impact on our health and wellbeing. Whilst in South Gloucestershire we are living longer than we have ever done before not all of us are living in good health and there are significant inequalities between community groups.

Making healthier lifestyle choices can have a huge influence on our health and could prevent a number of diseases. But it’s not always easy to do this and some will need support. In South Gloucestershire we currently have a number of healthy lifestyle and wellbeing services. Most have been designed to address individual lifestyle and wellbeing issues such as supporting a person to reduce their weight, to stop smoking, or improve their mental wellbeing. Some are provided by GP practices and pharmacies, some from the voluntary and community sector and others by South Gloucestershire Council. This can make it difficult to know where to go or who to call to get advice and support.

We are working with partners to develop a new model for more integrated and accessible healthy lifestyle and wellbeing services and support. The development of a new service model will focus on bringing together services in a more ‘joined up’ way to ensure that services provided are high quality, evidence based and proportionate to need.

It is anticipated that the new model will include a single point of access for lifestyle and wellbeing information and services in South Gloucestershire. This should lead to an improved service for those accessing and referring to services, and also offers the potential for increasing the number of people enables to make changes to improve their lifestyle and wellbeing through the introduction of digital initiatives. In turn, this should lead to a more cost-effective approach to providing services, allowing resources to be targeted more effectively at those with greater needs and enabling a stronger focus on reducing health inequalities.

The intention is to develop a new service model based on data about the health of our population and evidence of local need in partnership with local communities. A key part of this project will be community engagement to better understand attitudes and barriers to healthy lifestyles and wellbeing, and how local communities would like to access services and support to make healthier choices. Public and stakeholder engagement will take place throughout 2018 to develop the new service model. The intention is to have a new service model in place for 1 April 2019.

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