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The Right Move - Active Dorset Visit

The Right Move - Active Dorset Visit

Blog by Matt Evans, Active People and Place Manager

In July 2022, three of the Active Lincolnshire team visited our fellow Active Partnership Active Dorset for a study visit. In a series of 3 blogs we share some of the finding and initial reactions to what we heard, saw and felt whilst visiting.

In this the first article “The Right Move” I talk about the background, Outpatients work in Dorset and Integrated Lifestyle Partners. The second “On Par” focuses on work in Dorset with MSK, the Maternity pathway and their collaboration with Public Health. The third “Torchbearer” explains the work Active Dorset have done with Falls prevention and their Primary Care Network support.

The Right Move

In October 2021, three of the Active Dorset team came to visit Lincolnshire and helped us unpick our existing work with the health sector. As the work has developed, it became apparent that a return trip was necessary so; Emma Tatlow (CEO), Lorna Leach (Director of Transformation) and I (Active People and Place Manager) made the journey south. We began by having conversations about the structures of both organisations. We learnt about; the roles and responsibilities different members of the Active Dorset team had, their capacity to deliver, how roles are funded and we then began to translate what that might look like in Lincolnshire. It was a very intense learning experience for all of us; making us question and analyse both organisations, the purpose of the work, the relationships involved and the resource utilisation. There are 6 people working in the Health team at Active Dorset and all of them have offered further conversations so if you read something here and want to know more, please get in touch:

Outpatients, Live Well

Tuesday provided us with an opportunity to see South Walks House outpatient unit. The ex-council facility is situated in Dorchester and being away from the main hospital, provides a space to prioritise patients that need pre-op assessments and orthopaedic appointments. This relatively new development sees AD, Live Well Dorset and clinicians all in one physical space allowing patients to be immersed in lifestyle (including physical activity) messaging as they move from reception to consultations rooms and waiting areas. The set routines require all patients to have their BMI checked and in that process be asked two key questions; one relating to the amount of physical activity minutes accrued this week and the second the total amount of time spent sedentary. Both are programmed-in among other measures related to a healthy lifestyle such as smoking, alcohol consumption, etc. This captive audience can not escape a nudge (or several) towards a healthier way of living which helps break the ice for clinicians who might otherwise lack the time or confidence to raise those conversations. The beauty of the centre is within its ability to tell a patient that they are important, they are not tagged onto a side ward of a busy A&E department but instead are front and centre. The culture sets a tone that implies everyone is here, in one place, to help you holistically manage and treat whatever condition you arrive with.

Later that day we were joined by a representative of Live Well Dorset, their Public Health funded lifestyle partner. Emma explained to us the fascinating way they deliver support to the residents. Utilising the COM-B behaviour change model, their service users are built bespoke support packages and signposted to relevant tools and resources. Their Coaches offer 1:1 support for a series of sessions that unpick the client’s capability, opportunities and motivations. Should gaps appear, Live Well liaise directly with AD and together seek solutions utilising resources such as the Together Fund. There is a constant dialogue about service needs, patient motivations and joining up of all the component parts. I know that there is a desire in Lincolnshire, through the Let’s Move platform, to replicate this type of working and we are already seeing pockets of this.

Please get in touch with us if you would like a further discussion about anything in this article. Likewise, have a look at the other blogs in this series to see other areas of inspiration from Dorset.