Published on 10/01/2012
Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has backed plans for NHS staff to question patients on lifestyle choices.
NHS Future Forum, an independent advisory panel, has recommended that members of NHS staff ask patients about smoking, drinking, diet and physical activity during appointments.
This includes midwives, surgeons, health visitors, doctors and nurses. The panel also advises that dentists, pharmacists and physiotherapists change how they use their time during appointments, making ‘every contact count’.
The report says: “There are millions of opportunities every day for the NHS to help to improve people's health and wellbeing and reduce health inequalities, but to take this opportunity it needs a different view of how to use its contacts with the public.”
Examples include a routine dental check-up being used to help someone stop smoking, and a visit from a midwife an opportunity to discuss mental health support.
In addition, a pre-surgery check-up could be a chance to talk over concerns about lifestyle choices, and collecting medication from a pharmacy could involve offering someone help with cutting down on alcohol.
The British Medical Association has endorsed the recommendation, and Lansley fully backs the proposal. But the Royal College of Nursing voiced doubts about the potential impact on relationships between NHS staff and patients.
NHS Future Forum also recently warned that the recruitment of student nurses is a key problem in the NHS.
© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2012Categories: NHS and Hospitals