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Let’s Talk About

As part of the recruitment for my role as Policy and Research Officer I was asked to present a health and social care headline that I thought Healthwatch Wirral should take forward as a priority.

I chose an article about increasing numbers of people working night shifts and the resultant impacts of working shifts on people’s health.

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/three-million-britons-working-night-shifts-and-endangering-their-health-10438592.html

A further literature research showed me that

  1. Shift work linked to increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes (35% increase in risk).(Clinical Digest Nursing Standard, August 13, 2014, Vol.28 (50), p.16 (1) [Peer Reviewed Journal]
  2. Prostate cancer risk higher among night workers.(Men’s Health Update) Renal & Urology News, Nov, 2012, Vol.11 (11), p.12 (1)
  3. Shift workers are more likely to have a limiting, longstanding illness and more than one of these. http://www.hscic.gov.uk/catalogue/PUB16076
  4. Wirral JSNA stats showing that as an area Wirral has higher rates of Atrial Fibrillation, High Blood Pressure, Stroke, COPD and Depression. We also have higher rates of prostate Cancer and oesophageal cancer http://info.wirral.nhs.uk/ourjsna/

Readers – I got the job! Now there was just the tricky matter of how to make a difference.

We know from our monitoring that people who work shifts find it difficult to get to see GP’s and attend health and social care events. It made me think about the small moments and opportunities when you may get a chance to think about and discuss health topics with colleagues for example…..when you’re in a work kitchen waiting for the kettle to boil or microwave to ping!  Lo and behold the lightbulb moment of the ….

      ‘Let’s Talk About Boards’

The idea behind this is that local employers commit to supplying us with a noticeboard in their kitchen area dedicated to information supplied by Healthwatch Wirral. Each month the health topic will change and will display local information about the facts and fiction of the topic, signposting to local organisations that can help, asking for people to tell us their stories and a monthly survey of people’s opinions of what could be done.

We are piloting the boards with Wirral Chamber of Commerce, The Orchard Surgery and we are looking for other employers to come and take advantage of helping staff to be informed about health and social care issues that may affect them or their families.

If you are interested in finding out more information about hosting a “Lets Talk About” Board then please contact a member of the team at [email protected]

 

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