Following a competitive tender process, Public Health Dorset has appointed Optum, a leading health services organisation, to develop a new phone and online hub, slated to launch in April, to help Dorset improve the health and wellbeing of local residents.
Optum is leading a consortium of organisations to develop and manage the hub, which includes Health Promotion Devon, Dorset Community Action and University College London.
The health improvement hub will act as a one-stop-shop that will help people with their health and wellbeing, including advising people about their smoking, drinking, weight, diet and exercise, and assisting them in adopting a healthier lifestyle, potentially reducing the risk of individuals developing more serious health issues later in life.
Current services vary across the county, but the hub will be the new front door to the health improvement system in Dorset, regardless of where someone is living. The service will be available to the more than 750,000 people in Dorset, Bournemouth and Poole. It will offer local residents one county-wide contact number and a simple-to-use website that can help tailor the right level of support for each individuals’ needs. The hub will also better enable community partners – voluntary organisations, charities and community groups – and health professionals to refer people to the service.
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Dr David Phillips, director of Public Health Dorset, said:
“This is a great opportunity to address some of our biggest health issues head-on. We know how difficult it can be for people to make and sustain changes in their health behaviour, whether giving up smoking, cutting down on alcohol, taking more exercise, or losing weight and eating healthily.
“What the new health improvement hub can do is become a powerful support service for people no matter how simple or complex their needs are.
“We’re delighted that Optum is going to develop the health improvement hub. They have a vast amount of experience and expertise in developing health services, and we look forward to working closely with them.”
Katherine Ward, Global Growth Officer at Optum, said: “Optum is grateful for the opportunity to support Public Health Dorset in providing one clear and simple access point that helps Dorset residents make positive lifestyle changes that improve their health and wellbeing.”
Date: January 28, 2015