Newsletter - March 2016 - Healthchat Training

It is generally agreed that anyone working within health and social care in Stockport should be able to provide basic health and wellbeing information to any members of the public. All staff should be able to chat about lifestyles and put members of the public in touch with someone who can help if they want to make a change to their way of life.

To make sure that all staff across health and care services give out the same health and care messages, Stockport Council, along with Stockport Together, has begun to offer ‘Health Chat Training’.

The training is designed to give all teams – including non-medical members of staff – the skills to talk about health and wellbeing when the opportunity comes up. It will refresh knowledge of current public health guidance, as well as making sure staff are fully up to date with the services on offer throughout Stockport for anyone who needs some extra support, for example, to lose weight or stop smoking.

Eleanor Hill, Public Health Specialist at Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council, who helped develop the training course, commented: “Most of us struggle with some aspect of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. For some it is tobacco or alcohol, while others find it difficult to eat healthily or just find it too easy to eat too much. And for many of us it feels impossible to be as physically active as government guidelines suggest.

“This training gives colleagues two key rules to follow when talking to members of the public about their health and wellbeing: listen to what people say and what they want, and encourage them to be positive and focus on what they can do, using the help that is available.

“For many people, knowing that help is available is vital. Through this training, our staff will be able to provide support to change, whether that’s showing people how to get information online or telling people about face-to-face support that’s available.”

Many staff have already received this training, but by rolling it out across the partner organisations, as well as inviting other health and care organisations such as care homes, to get involved, Stockport Together are working to ensure all staff are trained to provide high quality advice.

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