Amanda Walsh

The development of a cholesterol health promotion tool 

Background

A visual tool was developed for use when discussing cholesterol results with patients as part of the NHS Health Check or any other relevant health promotion activity. The tool offers prompts to ease discussion of results; brief lifestyle interventions and signs of possible familial hypercholesterolaemia.

As most staff are busy and may not have time to access all the information separately, my rationale was to put all the information together in one place. The tool was developed over several months and adapted following feedback from consultations with patients.

cholesterol checklist

Activity to date

During September and October 2017: the tool was disseminated and used with employees at a motor engineering company in Thatcham where NHS Health Checks were taking place.

In January 2018, Hitch Marketing agency was contacted to discuss images, copyright, design and costs to produce the tool in both paper and online versions. Ideas that were discussed included the shape of the leaflet (a heart design) which could affect the cost, however, the team were confident that slight alterations could be made, without losing the overall heart design. There were also discussions around sourcing and using images from NHS sources that have Crown copyright. The overall feedback from the team was positive.

Health Diagnostics health promotion company was also contacted in January 2018 to discuss distribution of the tool via their national network. Gasp Health promotion company was also contacted to discuss costs and distribution.

Mediterranean food

Output to date

The tool has been developed as a prototype.

A copy of the tool has been printed and handed out to 45 staff at the motor engineering company and was evaluated informally through discussion with them.

Sent a PowerPoint presentation of the tool via email to three companies, and presented via Skype to another.

ole woman eating healthy meal

The tool offers prompts to ease discussion of results; brief lifestyle interventions and signs of possible familial hypercholesterolaemia

Lessons learnt 

Verbal feedback from 80% of the people seen with the tool was positive. These included all levels of staff. A particularly good response was received regarding advice on recommended cholesterol levels and dietary advice. Most people said they appreciated having something to take away and read. Others said that they would access online information or already knew the information prior to their appointment. 

open book

The way forward

The tool could be disseminated by partnering with NHS Health Checks and other health charities across the UK. I have discussed how to distribute this idea with a company that I worked with in general practice called Health Diagnostics and I am currently awaiting their response.