For anyone looking to make improvements to their health in 2016, Wiltshire Council’s dedicated health trainers are ready to support them every step of the way.
The team is available to support people to achieve and maintain their health and wellbeing goals and help them find other services and activities to support them.
The free service is available for everyone over the age of 18 and can help people to:
- Improve their general wellbeing
- Build self-confidence and motivation
- Eat healthier food and be a healthy weight
- Reduce or stop smoking
- Be more active
- Drink less alcohol
In 2015 more than 500 people registered to use the service. Of those who set personal goals more than 70% improved their health and wellbeing. Others were successfully helped to access services and activities within their local community.
Rose Southern, who was keen to lose weight and be healthier, is one such Wiltshire resident who has benefited from the service. She told us: “Straight away the health trainer made me feel more positive about myself, and what the future may hold with their help.
“I felt the meetings with my health trainer became very important to me, as I realised somebody cared, and they listen and help me, plus it’s a really big incentive when you have a goal.
“I swim three times a week, swimming at least 32 lengths each time. On top of this, I walk places now rather than jump in the car, and I really enjoy the fresh air, and just getting out.
“My doctor was so pleased with me. All my tests had come back with such positive changes – my blood pressure was normal and my cholesterol dropped to a healthy level (best result for me since 1997). On top of all this I have lost one and half stones in weight.”
Wiltshire Council corporate director, Maggie Rae said: “We have seen for ourselves the fantastic improvements people have made to their health through our service.
“Our health trainers can provide that bit of key motivation and set achievable goals to give people the best opportunity to make improvements. If people want to lose weight, be more active or simply want some health advice – our team is there for them.
Wiltshire Council cabinet member for public health, Keith Humphries said: “This is the time of year when people tend to focus on getting healthier and our health trainers are an ideal resource to help people get an achievable plan in place.
“It’s amazing what simple changes to a diet or lifestyle can make and our health trainers will be there to support and encourage throughout.”
Dr Paul Harris, a local GP, says: “As a busy GP I have found the service offered by our local health trainers extremely helpful. Patients of our surgery who have accessed the service for help have achieved significant health gains.
“I am sure this success reflects the way the trainers approach the role by being approachable, supportive and encouraging and not being limited to 10 minute quick fix appointments.
“More and more of our patients are choosing to address their lifestyle problems via this service and we, as a practice, encourage them to do so even to the extent of donating a room at the surgery for the trainers to use.
“In these challenging times, when GP practices are under pressure, this service provides a genuine and effective alternative method for patients to change their harmful lifestyles without using valuable NHS resources.
People can self-refer to be supported by a health trainer. The online referral form can be found at www.wiltshire.gov.uk/healthtrainers. When the form has been received, a health trainer will respond within five working days.