“Making eye health a public health priority, via on-going, targeted public health campaigns, to increase understanding of the impact of specific health conditions and lifestyles on eye health is the priority of the UK Vision Strategy. Impact on eye health and sight should become an integrated feature of public health and education campaigns, such as those which tackle smoking or obesity”

It is this strategy that the borough of Dudley is an example of. Dudley LOC in partnership with Dudley Public Health are piloting the ‘Healthy Living Optician’ Scheme. This scheme has approximately 10 practices participating and these optical practices will be able to offer:

• Smoking Cessation Services
• Alcohol Screening
• NHS Health Checks including glucose testing and cholesterol
• Weight Management

Healthy Living Pharmacies offer these services nationwide but Dudley will be the first area to offer these services in an Optical Practice.

These services are free to anyone living or working in the Dudley borough.

Smoking Cessation

Our specially trained advisors will be able to offer support on quitting and will be able to provide you with treatment to help you quit. You will be given advice and support in a confidential and comfortable environment. The service includes carbon monoxide readings to monitor your levels and to see how well you are doing.

Alcohol Screening

Through specially designed questionnaires we will be able to analyse whether you are a low risk, increased risk or high risk drinker and provide brief advice. We can also refer you for more specialised help and support if required.

NHS Health Checks

If you are aged between  40-74 then you are entitled to a free NHS Health Check. This consists of our advisor asking a few questions about your lifestyle and then checking your blood pressure, glucose levels and cholesterol. All this information is out put into a secure IT programme which will measure your risk and provide you with a report to take home. If there are any concerns this will be automatically highlighted to your GP who will follow this up.

Weight Management

Participating Optical Practices will be offering a one to one counterweight programme. The trained health professional will be with you every step of the way to improve your lifestyle and work with you to lose weight and keep it off. The counterweight programme will be delivered over one year with nine educational appointments and additional support appointments. In order to qualify for this free programme you must meet certain criteria which the healthcare professional will discuss with you.

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