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Co-location of health improvement services good for public health, report finds

14 November 2016

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In order to survive decommissioning and cuts to funding, health improvement services are converging into single location hubs.

According to a report by the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH), although this transition is largely a response to financial pressures, it is providing significant opportunities to deliver better health outcomes through co-location of services.

The report, Bringing the health improvement workforce together, confirms the effectiveness of health improvement services at improving public health.

The Data Collecting and Recording System (DCRS) found that patients had a 136% increase in vigorous exercise, a 52% increase in fruit and vegetable consumption, and a 37% decrease in alcohol consumption post-intervention.

The health improvement hubs are also successful at engaging with clients in more deprived target demographics, which are hard for traditional primary care services to reach.

Between September 2015 and June 2016, 81,905 members of the public were seen by these services.

Shirley Cramer CBE, Chief Executive of RSPH, said: “While this can help commissioners get value for money from their services, this transition should also be embraced as an opportunity to provide more holistic, whole-person health improvement services at ‘one stop shops’ that can deliver better overall health outcomes.”

David Hopkinson, DCRS National Service Lead, said: “This report greatly supports the national evidence base and shows how services are meeting the difficult challenges they face head-on. The statistical achievements of those services analysed in this report continues to astound – it is a privilege to support them.”