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Frimley Health Chief Executive's blog

I am often staggered when I think about the number of lives we touch every day. A quick glance at our Annual Report tells you we had well over a million formal contacts with patients each year. And that doesn’t include their relatives and visitors and the influence that you and thousands of your colleagues have in your communities.

Part of our new vision in the recently published Our Future Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust strategy for 2020-2025 is ‘to be a leader in health and wellbeing’. We no longer want to be seen just as somewhere that fixes people when they are sick or in need. We also aspire to help our community lead healthier lives and feel better all round. In fact all our partner organisations in the Frimley Health and Care Integrated Care System are committed to helping people live longer independent lives.

This will take a shift in focus so prevention and wellness are given the same profile as sickness. But how might we achieve this?

With this question in mind, it was a real pleasure for me to meet Hilary Naudi, our Health Improvement Manager, recently. Hilary is our lead for Making Every Contact Count, which is helping us to think differently about our role. It challenges us to think of each one of those million-plus contacts we have every year as an opportunity to make a difference. MECC teaches the skills to act on these opportunities.

For example smoking and excessive alcohol consumption are two of the biggest killers in the UK today. Imagine the difference we could make to the health and wellbeing of our community if we all had the skills and knowledge to be able to direct people to the right help at that vital point of contact.

Of course MECC has to be backed up with the right support. Frimley Health’s Alcohol Intervention Team of specialist nurses can advise and direct people to the right services and Hilary informed me that we are already seeing a reduction in the number of people being admitted with alcohol-related issues. At Frimley, patients who smoke can access advice and support to quit while they are staying with us and the service links with the community so that support extends seamlessly beyond discharge. Incidentally, smoking and alcohol screening tools will also be included in our Hospital in my Pocket electronic observation system that we’ll be introducing early in 2020.

You don’t have to be a clinician to have these conversations. So far in the Frimley Health and Care Integrated Care System, 900 people have attended MECC training, about half of those from Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust. These have included volunteers, librarians, social prescribers, health visitors and community nurses. I am joining them as I have signed up for a course this year. The ultimate aim is to give everyone the conversation skills and confidence to empower people to take more responsibility for their own health and lifestyle choices.

Of course wellness shouldn’t just be about our patients and communities. I am committed to making sure that we as an employer are doing everything we can to look after your health and wellbeing too. After all we are one of the biggest employers in our region and among the biggest NHS trusts outside London, so we should be leading by example.

Neil

Neil Dardis
Chief Executive
Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust