New Healthy Lifestyle Service launched in Devon

Posted on: 24 January 2017

A new healthy-lifestyle service commissioned by Devon County Council aims to help the increasing number of adults at risk of developing long-term health conditions take small steps toward a healthier lifestyle.

OneSmallStep, provided by leading health services organisation Optum – in partnership with Solutions4Health, which will provide specialist stop-smoking services – will help Devon’s residents adopt healthy lifestyle choices and reduce their risk of more serious health issues. The free service, which goes live on 1 February 2017, provides inspiration and tools for people to take control of their own health and wellbeing, by motivating them to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, increase physical activity, address smoking and reduce the risk of harm from alcohol.

Support will be delivered by trained staff and evidence-based tools available online, by telephone and via social media; and will include signposting to local groups and activities, or into other specialised services where face-to-face support is required for people in greatest need.

Optum will work alongside GPs and other health professionals, community pharmacies, voluntary networks and community organisations and will connect with other services to increase reach to capitalise on a wide range of local assets.

The contract to deliver the service represents an investment of potentially £3m over a five-year period.

Councillor Andrea Davis, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for health and wellbeing

Councillor Andrea Davis, Cabinet Member with responsibility for improving health and wellbeing, said: “We want to help support and motivate Devon’s residents to live the healthiest life they can and reduce the risk of health issues later on in life.

“By taking action early, people can prevent many of the common illnesses later in life that are often associated with unhealthy lifestyles.

“OneSmallStep will provide a comprehensive gateway to information and support for people to make better choices and take control of their health.”

Steve Brown, Deputy Director of Public Health for Devon County Council, said:

“We understand that people’s lifestyle choices can be deeply engrained, and it isn’t always easy to access clear advice or facts around health, or take small steps toward a healthier lifestyle.

“We were impressed by the extensive health services experience of both our partners and their vision for how the program can be delivered in Devon.  We are looking forward to working with them, and with our community partners, on this innovative healthy lifestyle service for Devon’s residents.”

Dr Martin McShane, Chief Medical Officer, Clinical Delivery, Optum said: “We are grateful for the opportunity to support Devon County Council in its goal to improve public health.

“By giving clear advice and facts to individuals, and by drawing on our experience in working elsewhere in the UK and worldwide, we believe the people of Devon will benefit from the services OneSmallStep will offer.”

Leena Sankla, Director of Public Health and Lifestyle Services for Solutions 4 Health, said:

“We take a very positive approach about reducing health inequalities through supporting and empowering people to improve their health and wellbeing. After all, smokers are four times more likely to stop successfully when they have professional support.”

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Posted in: Health and Wellbeing