Physiotherapists leading on new campaign to encourage better population health in Teesside

A HEALTH trust is encouraging its own staff to lead by example as it looks to boost the health prospects of its population.

The physiotherapy team standing in a patient room at Hartlepool hospital.Staff at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust are taking part in a new challenge aimed at being more active.

Led by the physiotherapy team, the service is challenging other individuals and departments to move more than them each week.

The team are encouraging its local people and community to carry out more physical exercise.

Chris Tarn, senior clinical professional and a trained physiotherapist, said: “We are striving for a more aspirant Teesside. One where our community individually and collectively looks to be more active and live more healthily to help prevent illness and bad health and reduce the chances of needing the help of your NHS.

“Looking after your health ultimately leads to better quality of life and better prospects.

“Our challenge to our staff is to lead by example and to show your patients and your community the importance of a balanced diet and being more active. We can all be more active and it is often hard to find the time and the motivation needed to make that important change in our lives.

“We have created a bit of light-hearted competition between the physiotherapists and the rest of the organisation to try to bring out people’s competitive side.

“And we are delighted with the support we have had so far from staff across the Trust.”

The Trust has its own Population Health Strategy, involving working with partners to address challenges faced and align health services to meet the need of the community.

Medical director Deepak DwarakanathMedical director, Deepak Dwarakanath, said: “Population health is about seeing the bigger picture. As an organisation, we are looking both at people’s physical and mental health with a view to preventing illness rather than just treating it.

“We have more than 5,000 staff, many of whom live in our area and use our services themselves. We want staff who are as healthy as they can be. Initiatives like this one launched by our physiotherapists are about encouraging people to be more aware of this and helping them make that change.”

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