Bristol City Council is asking for the public’s views on proposals to simplify the way people in the city can access information and advice on achieving healthy lifestyles.
Called the Behaviour Change for Healthier Lifestyles Programme, the emphasis will be on people accessing help and advice via an online hub or on the telephone – replacing a number of individual healthy lifestyle services currently delivered on behalf of the council.
The 12 week consultation launched on 9 May 2017. It is aimed at Bristol residents, the voluntary and community sector as well as existing and potential providers. View the consultation and respond to it.
The proposal is to offer one point of contact for accessing information on areas like how to quit smoking, lose weight, improve your diet, become more physically active and cut down on alcohol depending on the needs of the individual.
Crucially, the Behaviour Change for Healthier Lifestyles Programme will focus on equipping individuals with the right information and advice to make changes to their lifestyle and improve their health without additional support. However, others who may need more motivation and help to increase their chances of achieving healthier lifestyles will have access to more direct support.
Becky Pollard, Director of Public Health, said:
“We know that the reasons people change their behaviour are complex and where people live, work and socialise all play a role. The new digital hub will empower and enable those who want to change to do so and then also offer more intensive support only where needed. The root cause of behaviours, including emotional and mental health, will also be addressed by the new service as these factors are inextricably linked to the choices people make.
“Evidence shows this approach has worked well in other areas and I am confident it will have a big impact on the health of local people. We want to hear everyone’s views about these plans and what would be most useful to our diverse local population.”
Over 800 people die prematurely in Bristol each year from causes related to lifestyle choices such as smoking, drinking, being overweight or inactive. Research shows that ill health contributes to inequality as people from more disadvantaged backgrounds develop long term conditions about ten years earlier than those from more affluent backgrounds. The new Behaviour Change for Healthier Lifestyles Programme will aim to reduce inequality by intervening earlier.