Local MP Alex Cunningham met with senior medical staff and clinicians at Nuffield Health Tees Hospital in Stockton, to learn about pioneering initiatives designed to keep people fit, healthy and out of hospital.
The MP for Stockton North spoke to staff, patients and hospital director Steve Sharp, who introduced Mr Cunningham to Nuffield Health’s medical care and wellbeing services for private and NHS patients.
Nuffield Health is the UK’s largest healthcare charity, operating a network of hospitals, fitness and wellbeing clubs, medical centres and diagnostic units across the country.
During his visit, Mr Cunningham heard about Nuffield Health’s pioneering approach to integrating health and wellbeing services including physiotherapy, joint pain prevention, emotional wellbeing, health screening, nutrition and GP services to help prevent long-term health conditions.
Steve Sharp, hospital director at Nuffield Health Tees Hospital, explained: “It has been great to welcome Mr Cunningham to the hospital to discuss how health charities like Nuffield can do more to support the NHS in our local community as part of the local health economy.”
The visit was an ideal opportunity for the hospital, which is rated outstanding by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), to demonstrate the benefits of several key initiatives, including a joint pain pre- surgery group for hip and knee patients, which is designed to help patients prepare for surgery, and in doing so, aims to deliver improved patient outcomes as a result.
Another key initiative is the Nuffield Health School Wellbeing Activity Programme (SWAP) which works closely with local schools to guide young people on ways they can improve their activity levels, sleep, diet, and manage emotional and mental wellbeing.
Describing his visit, Mr Cunningham MP, said: “It was great to visit Nuffield Hospital and see the great work the staff are doing to get local people fit and healthy through a range of innovative initiatives designed to minimise time in hospital, and promote physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.
“I was particularly pleased to learn about the work that is being done to promote healthy lifestyles at a young age through their School Wellbeing Activity Programme. Schemes like this will not only instil the positive benefits of looking after your physical and mental health at an early age, but will also help to take pressure off our NHS in the long run.”
During his visit, Mr Cunningham also received a tour of the hospital visiting mammography, MRI, operating theatres and a new state-of-the-art X-ray suite.
Steve Sharp added: “Our holistic approach to health and wellbeing means that many of our programmes focus on prevention. We are keen to work with Mr Cunningham to further explore how we can better support the NHS locally through improved collaboration and prevention programmes.
“By keeping people fitter for longer and out of hospital, we can help to build a healthier nation and reduce the growing demand for care on the NHS.”