Wales aims two health drives at staff and patients

A physio-led health and fitness programme for overweight patients in north Wales has helped cut hospital stays following orthopaedic surgery.

The 32-week diet and exercise programme helps patients who must lose 10 per cent of their bodyweight prior to orthopaedic surgery, through exercise classes and sessions with a dietician.

The scheme was drawn up by Cathy Wynne, musculoskeletal clinical performance lead physiotherapist at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board.

Physiotherapist at the health board,, Kate Lynch helps deliver the scheme, which is for patients with a body mass index of more than 35.

She said 110 patients had taken part so far and ‘all measures are showing good results’. ‘Participants are losing weight, reporting less pain and are feeling better more generally,’ Ms Lynch said.

Meanwhile, a project designed to improve the health of NHS Wales staff has seen just one third of participants complete the programme.

Only 456 of the 1,300 staff who signed up to the Champions for Health campaign stayed ‘actively engaged’ during the six-month pilot.

Employees from NHS Wales health board trusts and the Welsh Government’s health and social care department had pledged to make lifestyle changes including stopping smoking, taking regular exercise and losing weight.

The campaign, which was led by Public Health Wales and supported by the Wales improvement programme 1000 Lives Plus, will now undergo a full evaluation before being developed.

The CSP annual representative conference in March called on the society to campaign for physiotherapists to have a leading role in reducing NHS staff obesity.

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