The ‘Live Well Stay Well’ programme, led by the Department of Health and Social Care, is aimed at helping people to manage their long term health conditions.
Ann Corkill, Senior Nurse for Self Care said:
'If you are living with a long term health condition, for example diabetes, arthritis, chronic pain or high blood pressure, the ‘Live Well Stay Well’ programme could help you. The programme aims to encourage people with long term health conditions to manage their condition by developing and applying new skills.'
Anyone with a long term health condition can apply to go on one of the courses, which consist of a two and half hour sessions every week for six weeks. The next ‘Live Well Stay Well’ courses will start on 23 September in Douglas and on 4 November in Ramsey.
The programme is run by trained volunteers who themselves have long term health conditions, so they understand the difficulties and situations that can arise. Each session is supported by health care professionals. A similar programme called the ‘Expert Patient’ has been running in the UK.
'A recent evaluation of feedback questionnaires, highlighted the enormous benefits participants received from completing the course.
'From these questionnaires, 92% of respondents felt more positive about living with their long term health condition since completing the course. Problem solving, communication with family, friends and healthcare professionals, and healthy eating were also reported to have improved.
'Some participants stated that they would be less likely to visit Noble’s Hospital Emergency Department because of their condition, others stated that they had reduced their need for emergency GP appointments, following the course.'
Minister for Health and Social Care, Howard Quayle MHK said:
'Supporting people with long term health conditions to enjoy life to the full and to remain as healthy as possible is extremely important.
'From the results of the programme feedback, participation in the programme has been shown to give people the skills to manage their long term health condition, with appropriate support from health and social care professionals as necessary.'
With an emphasis on self-care, a new skill is covered each week, such as improving communication, finding ways to cope with fatigue or pain, maintaining a balanced diet, and planning for the future. The course helps people gain more confidence, introduces people to others who face similar problems, and creates a welcoming environment to share experiences.
As part of the programme, a ‘Looking After Me’ course has also been developed which is based on the same principles as the ‘Live Well Stay Well’ course but is aimed at carers who, because they are busy in their caring role, sometimes forget about their own health needs. The next ‘Looking After Me’ course starts on 8 October in Douglas.
For more information and to book a place on a course, contact Ann Corkill, Senior Nurse Self Care, Community Health Services, Tel: 811830 or firstname.lastname@example.org.