I oversee Medical & Occupational Health Services for a Corporate Oil & Gas company as a Consultant Occupational Physician here in the UK. I am also an accredited Public Health Specialist having worked n the NHS for over 20 years in various public health and health services management roles.
Whilst reviewing our health promotion offer for employees and putting together a health & wellbeing strategy, I was not satisfied with our “know your numbers” programme which was not outcome focused in a robust and evidence based way. I had stumbled across lifestyle medicine through one of the CPD courses I did in 2020 and attended the BSLM conference last year (2021) in person where I listened to a talk on CHIIP (Complete Health Improvement Programme) which I felt suited our “health needs” in my role as lead for employee health & wellbeing under the banner of Culture of Health.
I completed the facilitator training in November 2021 and presented the programme to our strategic leadership team in March with the following proposed delivery offer for our workforce:
1) Employees who want a healthier lifestyle and do not currently have a diagnosed long term condition (who the point of care testing might be the option to ensure efficiency in delivery).
2) Employees Occupational Health pick up through routine medicals i.e. that have high BMI, high blood pressure, deranged lipid profile and high random glucose /Hb1ac levels as a follow up health improvement programme (these would be easier as we would already have their labs and can follow up through lab testing).
3) Employees already diagnosed with a long term condition and want help with self-management with the view to reverse their condition or improve health outcomes (these we can get them to do their labs and follow up through their GP / specialist as they would likely have their labs done routinely that way).
I was given the go ahead in April this year and gave a presentation to all staff and after a “”screening”” process to determine level of motivation, commitment and willingness to participate, I went ahead and rolled out a pilot scheme with six employees who signed up for CHIP over 12 weeks : two had long term conditions, one had recently had tests done and was told they were prediabetic, one just want to make some lifestyle changes due to a family history of preventable long term conditions and two had their routine medicals and they were not happy with their labs! I arranged fortnightly facilitated group sessions (virtually via Zoom as they were based in different sites and decided as a group that it suited them better) in keeping with the CHIP programme requirements and I incorporated a mental health check-in tool using the “”stress container”” (MHFA) as well. A health risk assessment was included as well as blood tests taken in week 1-2 and repeated between week 8-10 of the programme and participants were given the opportunity to share experiences, challenges and tips / insights.
Feedback has been great so far with changes in motivation levels and productivity at work, improved sleep, physical activity levels (I incorporated afternoon walks during lunch time for those onsite) and weight loss without even realizing. I am currently in the process of writing up the pilot and sharing the outcomes in relation to sickness absence, mental health & wellbeing objective scores and sleep scores to our HR and Health & Wellbeing Committee. The aim is train all my onsite nurses as CHIP facilitators and to roll out the CHIP formally to our two other sites later this year as I already have a sign up list!!
Lifestyle Medicine pillars covered:
Minimising Harmful Substances
Details of challenges:
Timing – 12 weeks can be difficult and planning around half term, school holidays etc
Other business commitments / travel that can impact involvement but initial sign up specifically stresses the importance of commitment and involvement and potential barriers which are discussed and addressed upfront.
What key performance indicators are you utilising?
Sickness absence levels (any, recurrent or prolonged)
Health outcomes – Weight, BMI, mental health scores, sleep scores , blood markers (Hb1Ac, Lipid profile) and activity levels (at least 150 minutes a week)
General outlook in life: positive, level of stress, use of wellness action plans, PHQ / GAD