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Lifestyle advocates celebrated at awards ceremony

Lifestyle Advocates: Enables enthusiastic individuals to become skilled advocates for health and well-being
Lifestyle Advocates: Enables enthusiastic individuals to become skilled advocates for health and well-being

A CELEBRATORY event to mark the success of a project aimed at improving population health by promoting health and well-being in primary care settings has been held in Carmarthen.

Hywel Dda University Health Board’s Public Health team marked the success of the ‘Lifestyle Advocates: Promoting Health in Practice’ project with a special ceremony at St Peter’s Civic Hall, Notts Square.

The Lifestyle Advocates project is a development programme, carried out in conjunction between public health and primary care, and aims to enable enthusiastic individuals to become skilled advocates for healthier lives and promote well-being and prevention in their settings.

Over 30 primary care staff have taken part in this new, innovative programme; gaining confidence in how to raise and discuss health promoting life changes and linking with local support groups and services. They have reported changing their own health behaviour as well as supporting patients to live healthier lives.

The Cluster areas that were involved last year were Amman Gwendraeth, North Ceredigion, South Pembrokeshire, North Pembrokeshire and Llanelli.

During the event, the advocates were presented with their certificates to recognise their participation in the programme.

Teresa Owen, Director of Public Health at Hywel Dda University Health Board, congratulated her team on the success of the programme by saying: “If we are to reduce inequalities in our communities, then we must act through Primary Care where so much of our service contact with vulnerable and hard pressed individuals takes place.

“Increasing the programme to include community pharmacy, dental and community services will enhance the integration of support closer to home.”

Ian Scale, Consultant in Public Health, who spoke at the event, said: “Closer working between GP Practices and other primary and community services gives us a new opportunity to promote good health as well as providing services for sickness and disease.

“All members of the Practice teams can play a part in supporting individuals and communities to find ways of living well, engaging with local activities and in voluntary groups and getting the right support to make positive changes to their lifestyle.”

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Dayne Stone

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