South Tyneside aims to inspire a Better U

South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trusts medical director Dr Shaz Wahid, South Tynesides director of public health Amanda Healy and Dr David Julien, chief executive of First Contact Clinical.
South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trusts medical director Dr Shaz Wahid, South Tynesides director of public health Amanda Healy and Dr David Julien, chief executive of First Contact Clinical.

A programme which is inspiring people to take more control over their own health has been launched at South Tyneside District Hospital.

A Better U aims to support people to look after themselves and achieve maximum independence while living longer, healthier and more fulfilling lives.

It is a partnership between South Tyneside Council, health organisations - South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust, NHS South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust and Healthwatch South Tyneside - and the local voluntary sector. First Contact Clinical is providing the training for the project.

South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust’s Chief Operating Officer Michelle Arrowsmith said: “This self-care initiative is very exciting as it has the potential to have a major impact on a range of important issues, including improving people’s wellbeing and reducing A&E attendances and admissions to hospitals and care homes. There is evidence that people who are proactive and motivated around their health have a better chance of staying healthier for longer and are less likely to use frontline health and social care services, thereby reducing demand on these services and also reducing costs.”

Amanda Healy, South Tyneside’s Director of Public Health, said: “The programme is helping to achieve a culture shift by encouraging local people to take greater responsibility for their own health and wellbeing by embedding a culture of self-care.

NHS South Tyneside CCG’S GP Clinical Director Dr Jon Tose said: “Self-care plays a major role in the treatment of health conditions from coughs, colds and flu right through to long-term conditions like Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and lung conditions. We are committed to supporting people to help themselves to live healthily and prevent avoidable illnesses. We also want to ensure our services and staff can support people with long term conditions to have the knowledge and skills to manage the condition themselves where appropriate.”

A Better U was trialled in Hebburn and is being gradually rolled out across the Borough.

To find out more, contact project manager Emma Hamblin, 0191 4246409, emma.hamblin@southtyneside.gov.uk