Over 1,100 NHS Wales staff sign up to become Champions for Health

More than 1,100 NHS Wales staff have signed up to take part in Champions for Health, a new campaign to encourage healthier lifestyles.

The response has exceeded expectations as the original aim was to recruit 1,000 staff to sign up to the six month challenge to improve their health.

Now staff from every health board and NHS trust in Wales, along with the Welsh Government’s health and social services department, are taking part. They will also be encouraging patients and the public about the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle.

The campaign, which begins today (Monday 1 October, 2012), will support staff to follow two healthy lifestyle changes and monitor their progress over six months enabling them to see improvement in their own health.

Dr Ruth Hussey, Chief Medical Officer for Wales, said, “The response from staff across Wales to Champions for Health has been absolutely fantastic.

“Champions for Health is a great opportunity to build on the excitement created by a fantastic summer of sport and today sees the start of a six month challenge which will not only encourage NHS staff to improve their health but will set the tone for a healthier nation.

“NHS staff are our greatest ambassadors and by leading by example they will show their patients and the public how important it is to lead a healthy lifestyle to ensure we have a prosperous and sustainable Wales.”

The campaign is being led by the Directors of Public Health in Wales and is supported by Public Health Wales and the 1000 Lives Plus national programme.

Staff taking part in Champions for Health from today (Monday 1 October) will be actively implementing two of five lifestyle changes:

  • Drink safely
  • Take regular exercise
  • Eat healthily
  • Stop smoking
  • Work toward a healthy weight

Each person will be setting their own challenges and reporting on their progress online at regular intervals throughout the six month period.