Hospital to start quizzing patients on unhealthy lifestyle

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The next time you go for an outpatient appointment at Milton Keynes Hospital, you may be asked questions about why you smoke, eat or drink too much.

On September 9, the hospital is launching a three-month pilot project in the urology and gastro-enterology clinics in the outpatient department to encourage people to try and lead a healthy lifestyle.

Nurses will ask patients about their lifestyle when they are carrying out the usual observation checks such as blood pressure, height and weight.

If a patient expresses an interest in making changes to their lifestyle, they will be given a leaflet outlining tips to make small changes that could make a big difference, and be pointed in the direction of local organisations that can offer further support. The pilot is part of the Making Every Contact Count campaign.

The campaign is designed to encourage staff who have contact with patients to make the most of opportunities to highlight ways they could improve their lifestyle, with a focus on encouraging people to stop smoking, drink less alcohol, eat more healthily and be more physically active.

Patients are invited to ask staff about where they can get help and support. Staff will be monitoring the number of patients who take up the offer of information and, if successful, the pilot will be rolled out across the rest of the hospital.

Carole Page, outpatients matron, said: “We want our patients to have the best possible outcome for their health issues or worries.

“We are committed to guiding our patients to break a habit or make a change which could help them achieve their health goals.

“We have made a pledge to make every contact count and we ask patients to ask for help if they want it.”