Are you a bartender, hairdresser, cleaner or postal worker? Well, you could form a key part in tackling England’s ever-increasing health crisis according to a report from The Royal Society for Public Health.
The “Rethinking the Public Health Workforce” report lists a number of professions, public bodies and emergency services that could help the people they come into contact with on a daily basis with any health concerns they are experiencing. Providing advice on alcohol intake, regular exercise and healthy eating habits are just some of the areas mentioned.
The report has found that training Britain’s workforce in matters relating to health matters, like those mentioned above, could become integral in helping others achieve a healthier standard of living.
This idea has been trialled in the past with bookmakers, who have disseminated health messages to men who avoid going to see their GP during Men’s Health Week. This report takes the initiative a step further by persuading professionals in other fields to spread health messages to a wider audience of both men and women.
The report suggests that using “friendlier” venues such as pubs, bars and salons for standard health checks such as taking blood pressure, alongside offering advice and support on health and wellbeing matters could be a more effective approach.
Indeed, the data collected in this report suggests that one in four people would be happy to take advice from their hairdresser or local shop owner due to the positive and longstanding customer, client relationship they have together.
However, it is important to consider when and how health advice is given and make sure it is delivered in as sensitive manner as possible to avoid any offence. It has been suggested that spreading health messages could be as simple as displaying a few posters around shops or salons, or keeping a stock of leaflets on local health services to disseminate when appropriate. The report suggests this would be particularly beneficial for men in the 60-70 age bracket who don’t tend to engage with health messages in more specific locations such as in GP surgeries.
“Promoting public health messages is everyone’s responsibility and the wider workforce can play an important role in making every contact count, encouraging people to make healthier lifestyle choices.”
What do you think about the findings of this new report? If you work in any of these professions, would you feel comfortable giving health advice to your customers or clients? We would be interested to hear your thoughts. Send us a message on Facebook or tweet us – @ebpcooh using #widerworkforce