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Every contact is an opportunity to promote healthy lifestyles

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g7222 (Published 10 December 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g7222
  1. Michael Walzman, consultant in genitourinary medicine, George Eliot Hospital, Nuneaton, Warwickshire CV10 7DJ
  1. mike.walzman{at}geh.nhs.uk

A sustainable health service needs everyone embracing healthier living. At Michael Walzman’s genitourinary medicine clinic, professionals aim to give advice on drinking and smoking as well as healthy sexual behaviour

Prevention is still better than cure. For the long term sustainability of the health service people need to be educated, encouraged, and helped to improve their own health, thus reducing their need for the NHS.

Making Every Contact Count is an NHS campaign that supports “encouraging and helping people to make healthier choices to achieve positive long-term behaviour change. To do this,” the campaign says, “organisations need to build a culture and operating environment that supports continuous health improvement through the contacts it has with individuals.”1 The idea is that health professionals should make the most of every contact with every patient to try to improve his or her health, in particular by promoting healthier lifestyles, regarding, for example, smoking, alcohol, diet, obesity, and exercise.

Making every contact count

A recent systematic analysis estimated the impact of achieving United Nations’ targets to reduce six …

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