HEALTH MAT­TERS

Macclesfield Express - - MACCLESFIELD PEOPLE -

DR Mike Clark, clin­i­cal lead for health op­ti­mi­sa­tion at NHS Eastern Cheshire CCG and GP with High Street Surgery, Mac­cles­field

AS we get older, wear and tear can cause parts of our body like knees and hips to weaken to a point where they need re­plac­ing.

When that hap­pens, it’s vi­tal that pa­tients and health pro­fes­sion­als take ev­ery pos­si­ble step to re­duce the risk of surgery and in­crease the chances of a quick, full re­cov­ery.

One of the ways in which we can do this is to help peo­ple stop smok­ing, lose weight and cut down on their drink­ing.

For that rea­son, we have in­tro­duced a health op­ti­mi­sa­tion pol­icy that will take ef­fect this au­tumn and will see GPs re­fer­ring pa­tients – where nec­es­sary – to a sup­port ser­vice called One You Cheshire East.

There’s much ev­i­dence that peo­ple who stop smok­ing be­fore surgery are less likely to fall ill af­ter­wards or have prob­lems with wounds heal­ing.

Did you know that breath­ing is eas­ier within 72 hours of quit­ting while cough­ing and wheez­ing will have re­duced in three to nine months? Af­ter 10 years, the risk of lung can­cer will have fallen to half that of a smoker.

Los­ing weight re­duces the risk of sur­gi­cal in­fec­tion, cuts the length of time in hos­pi­tal and min­imises the risk of de­vel­op­ing a deep vein throm­bo­sis.

Cut­ting down on al­co­hol will re­duce blood pres­sure, help you lose weight and lower the risk of de­vel­op­ing liver prob­lems.

Pa­tients who need to im­prove their health be­fore planned surgery will be re­ferred to the One You Cheshire East ser­vice pro­vided by Cheshire East coun­cil with part­ners in­clud­ing Peaks and Plains Hous­ing Trust and Ev­ery­body Sport and Recre­ation.

Pro­grammes avail­able in­clude cour­ses to en­cour­age ac­tive lives, healthy cook­ing, los­ing weight and stop­ping smok­ing.

For more in­for­ma­tion on One You Cheshire East, visit www. oney­oucheshireeast.org or call 0808 1643 202.

The health op­ti­mi­sa­tion pol­icy will af­fect up to 10,400 pa­tients a year, made up as fol­lows:

6,900 pa­tients need­ing to lose weight

2,800 pa­tients need­ing to take more ex­er­cise

1,800 pa­tients need­ing to stop smok­ing

690 pa­tients need­ing to drink less al­co­hol.

It’s important to stress that the pol­icy doesn’t ap­ply to emer­gency surgery or planned surgery that the sur­geon and anaes­thetist agree has be­come ur­gent for med­i­cal rea­sons.

I should also un­der­line that the pol­icy won’t af­fect the wait­ing time for your oper­a­tion.

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