Ten senior doctors are championing a new model for illness prevention in NHS hospitals.
The specialists are using their expert knowledge to embed prevention in the care delivered by Cardiff & Vale University Health Board.
The new consultant Clinical Prevention Champions (CCPCs) have all put themselves forward to act in prevention leadership roles across fields including orthopaedic surgery, maxillofacial surgery, dermatology, medicine, haematology, gastroenterology and emergency medicine.
Professor Jonathan Shepherd, a Cardiff surgeon, devised the Champions initiative after pioneering the Cardiff Model for Violence Prevention, which markedly reduced hospital admissions and A&E visits in Cardiff, and which has been implemented in cities across the UK and overseas.
“The success of the Model, and chairing Cardiff’s Violence Prevention Board for 20 years as a hospital consultant, made me realise that expert champions could improve prevention and tackle other major risks to health - from smoking and obesity to lack of exercise and alcohol misuse.”
“Everyone who visits an NHS hospital should be in no doubt that the care provided puts as much emphasis on prevention as it does on tests and treatment” he added.
A series of workshops examined how health risks could be addressed, how collaboration across specialties could be achieved, and how prevention might be promoted. The sessions also helped identify the varied prevention interests of prospective CCPCs.
Len Richards, Chief Executive of Cardiff and Value UHB, said: “We are pleased to have co-developed this exciting initiative with Professor Shepherd. The appointment of CCPCs complements our 10-year strategy for improving services - Shaping Our Future Wellbeing - which aims to give everyone the opportunity to lead longer, healthier, happier lives.”
Dr Sian Griffiths, Consultant in Public Health Medicine at Cardiff & Vale UHB, said: “Many of the diseases which have the biggest impact on our local population have common risk factors, such as smoking, diet and exercise.“
“The CCPC system enables hospital consultants to shape future services by sharing expert knowledge and insight into prevention across a wide range of specialisms, and aims to support the physical and mental wellbeing of both patients and staff. CCPCs also support our goal of improving the future health and wellbeing of our population by creating an environment in which individuals are empowered to take action that improves their health and reduces their risk of poor health.”
The appointment of CCPCs has been welcomed by the Chief Medical Officer for Wales and Welsh Government.