Background The NHS South Central Health Trainers Programme includes 7 Health Trainer (HT) services in the South Central area (n = 73 staff). The programme aims to engage the ‘hard to reach’, deliver sustained improvements to the health of the people through behavioural change, provide access to and encouraging the appropriate use and take up of NHS and other local services, and increase capacity and capability of the community.
Methods We conducted an analysis on the HT dataset that reported service activity over time; service users demographics; assessment process, health gains, and the HT profile data (April 2006 - March 2012). Data were described, using descriptive statistics and compared to national, regional or local comparators. The findings were evaluated against overall aims of the service.
Results The HT Service saw 9,959 people (2006-2012). The number of people seen increased year by year. 59% (n = 5822) seen by the HT service were women. 74% (n = 7338) stated ethnicity as White British. Over 15% of HT service users are from an ethnic minority other than White British, which is higher compared to the SE population. The majority of people seen lived in the two most deprived quintiles (over 90%), suggesting HTs are targeting people living in the most deprived communities. 10% of people seeing HT were not registered with a GP, and are therefore a ‘hard to reach’ group, for the NHS. Just over half (n = 5113) of people seen had their primary issue recorded, the most common issue of those recorded, was diet (56% 2865/5113).HTs recorded agreed behavioural goals with just over 4/10 of their service users. Over three quarters of those who agreed behavioural goals made a full or partial behavioural change. HTs signposted 34% of service users to other services, which included a wide range of NHS and other local services. Much of the data regarding service users’ health behaviours and health outcomes was missing. Robust data is vital in order to monitor evaluate and improve the service. The service should review data fields to ensure usefulness, ensure staff capacity training and motivation for data entry.
Conclusion Health Trainers are a valuable workforce engaging with more deprived populations and data suggests that they have a positive effect on lifestyle behavioural change. However data is incomplete and of only moderate quality. Better recording with high quality robust data would facilitate evaluation of the service, and enable estimates of effectiveness and sustainability to be demonstrated.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.