Hundreds of people in Bristol have pledged to lead healthier lifestyles this year and use the right healthcare services following a campaign by local NHS staff.
Staff from NHS Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (BNSSG CCG) invited shoppers at the Bristol Christmas Market, to make health-related pledges as part of the NHS ‘Help Us Help You’ winter campaign.
The campaign asks people to take steps to stay well throughout winter and beyond, such as getting the flu jab, and to ensure they use the right services for their needs such as speaking to a local pharmacist for advice on minor illnesses or contacting NHS 111. By making a pledge, shoppers signalled their commitment to staying healthy and making good healthcare choices to support themselves and alleviate pressures on the NHS.
The most popular pledge was to eat and drink more healthily, with 100 people (26%) committing to improve their diet, including eating more home cooked food with vegetables and pulses and to drink more water and less caffeine and alcohol.
Others pledged to get more exercise with 91 people (23%) vowing to be more active in 2020, while others committed to take care of themselves through winter by stocking their medicine cabinet.
Participants were entered into a prize draw to win a fitness tracker. Bristol resident Hannah Gardner was drawn at random as the lucky winner.
Hannah, pictured above receiving the prize from Dr Jon Hayes, said:
“It was a lovely surprise to hear that I had won, but also great timing as my partner and I had recently decided to run the Weston-super-Mare half marathon.
“The pledge is part of a goal that I’ve had for a while to increase my number of vegetarian meals and gradually work dairy out of my diet. My family must have known, given the amount of vegetarian or vegan cook books that I got for Christmas!”
However, Hannah also revealed that her pledge was not going quite as planned due to another surprise at home:
“Excitingly, I recently found out that I’m pregnant which means I have decided to focus on a well-balanced diet for now. I will be eating plenty of leafy greens and fruit as well as some occasional red meat”.
Dr Jon Hayes, local GP and Clinical Chair at Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, drew Hannah’s name out of the hat and said:
“A big congratulations to Hannah – both on her win and her pregnancy!
“It was great to talk to so many people at the Bristol Christmas Market about the ways they can make positive changes to their own health. Making better choices today can have a big impact on our health in the long-term. Whether moving more, eating more healthily or practising good self-care, you can help yourself feel better every day.”
You can find advice on how to live a healthier life on the NHS website: nhs.uk/live-well/