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The self care and prevention programme works to support people who live in Bradford district and Craven to understand what self care means. It aims to give people the skills, confidence and tools to manage and take control of their own health and wellbeing. 

Self care is a term used to include all the actions taken by people to recognise, treat and manage their own health and wellbeing. A person may do this independently or in partnership with the health and care services. We also want to promote self care and prevention with our staff who work in health and care organisations locally. We want to help them to better understand what self care is and give them the skills, resilience, confidence and tools to support people to self care.

The self care and prevention programme highlights for 2018/19 include:

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Workforce training

One of the key targets from the Bradford and Craven Health and Care Plan is to deliver or facilitate self care training to 10% of the health and care workforce over five years. This year we identified 9,800 staff to target across health and social care and had a target of 980 staff to train (10%), however we have actually trained 2,100 staff, exceeding the target. Our training is delivered at three levels:

Level 1 - basic awareness and e-learning - an introduction to self care

Level 2 - making every contact count – creating opportunities to encourage healthier lifestyle choices

Level 3 - conversations for change - in-depth behaviour change training utilising motivational interviewing techniques.

Community capacity building

We commissioned local voluntary and community sector (VCS) organisations and community groups to deliver engagement sessions with adults, children, young people, parents and families. The sessions were based on simple health messages around three key topic areas:

  1. choose well (also using the ‘is my child unwell’ campaign resources)
  2. winter wellness campaign (promoting ‘keep warm, keep well’, flu vaccination campaigns, management of respiratory conditions)
  3. mental wellbeing (using ‘it’s okay not to be okay’, five steps to wellbeing and ‘time to talk’ campaign resources).

The target was set for VCS partners to deliver ‘face to face’ sessions with a minimum of 1,000 people. This target has been reached and numbers have exceeded the original target. We have also been delivering the ‘SMILE – my little book of change’programme by upskilling staff within VCS organisations to work within their communities.

Children and young people

We commissioned health visitors to deliver a new ‘DIY health’ parenting course in children’s centres. They ran six courses and 53 parents or carers attended. All of the attendees reported an increase in confidence to manage poorly children. People also said that they were less likely to use GP practices or Accident and Emergency as the first point of contact for minor ailments. We are also working with an organisation called RIPEN to run a ‘Mindfulness in schools’ project where 14 teachers have been training to deliver sessions to children in primary schools.

Digital tools

We are testing two new digital tools to utilise innovative technology to promote wellbeing and prevention. The Evergreen app offers people a user friendly GP online service and provides suggestions to community based activities through a local database. The Orcha tool reviews, rates and recommends health apps to enable clinicians to prescribe apps to patients.

Community connectors

HALE and partners have expanded the reach of the social prescribing service into all GP practices across Bradford and the 13 Community Partnerships. They have tailored some additional support for people from Central and Eastern European communities and are also delivering a service based in the Accident and Emergency department. Within the first six months of 2018, the connectors have seen 486 service users and data has shown that there has been significant improvement in wellbeing, self care and satisfaction levels for people using the service.

Care navigation

We have trained 552 GP receptionists and administrators to be care navigators in GP practices across Bradford district and Craven. The project launched in early December 2018 and GP practices are now offering a range of external services for people when they call or go to their GP practice to book an appointment. These services include sexual health, drugs and alcohol, community connectors, community pharmacy, midwives and low level mental health services. We will be reviewing the impact and success of the project over the next few months and asking patient groups and communities to tell us about their experience of the service to shape our future plans.

Self care champions

We have commissioned a new self care champion role into each of the 13 Community Partnerships to work with all GP practices, patient groups, providers and voluntary and community sector organisations. The champions will support and promote self care and prevention activities and events at a local level.


We continue to develop our health prevention work in 2018/19. We are part of the Active Bradford partnership and one of the key partners of the Public Health led Healthy Bradford team which has been set up to address obesity and wider health prevention work across the district.

Asset Based Community Development

We have provided small funding grants through the Voluntary and Community Sector Alliance to stimulate investment into grassroots community activities which support the health and wellbeing needs of local people. The first round of funding supported over a 100 small community groups.

Living Well

Work is underway to develop a new ‘Living Well’ programme which will incorporate the learning and success of the self care and prevention programme and the Healthy Bradford work. The Living Well programme aims to deliver a system wide response to improving health and wellbeing. It aims to make it easier for everyone everywhere to live a healthy and active lifestyle every day. Living Well will also include a public facing campaign to motivate people and promote positive wellbeing. 

Self care week 2018

During self care week the self-care and prevention programme ran the make one change challenge’ to complement the national theme of ‘choose self care for life’.  The aim was to encourage people across Bradford district and Craven to make small changes which could have a big impact on their health and wellbeing, both mentally and physically. It also aimed to help people feel better about themselves. People were encouraged to use a Living Well weekly planner to record their progress.

Over 70 organisations took part including health, council and local charity teams, providing health and wellbeing information in over 40 locations across the patch. These included shopping centres and markets, schools and colleges, faith based buildings, hospitals, pharmacies, GP practices, mother and toddler groups and workplaces. Community nurses offered health MOTs and gave advice, encouraging people to have their flu jab, where to get it and how to get ready for the winter months to come.

We were awarded the winner of self-care week 2018 by the Self Care Forum - you can read more about this here.

Self care resources

Self care is for life and it is never too early or too late to make some small changes which can lead to big improvements to health and wellbeing. Resources to help inspire people to take some small steps in a new direction for themselves and their family include: