The British Society of Lifestyle Medicine (BSLM) recently invited Dr Liza Thomas-Emrus, lead clinician for the pioneering new Wellness Improvement Service (WISE) at Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board, to present her WISE Healthcare model at their 2022 annual conference.
The BSLM conference, held in London this year at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, traditionally invites speakers from across the globe to provide expert insight into all aspects of lifestyle medicine.
This year, the conference focus was on the community and acknowledgement of the various socio-economic factors that are currently impacting society, with aims to ignite tangible lifestyle medicine initiatives and solutions to aid the inequalities that exist in the said society’s health and well-being.
Dr Thomas-Emrus, a GP with a specialist interest in Lifestyle Medicine, was instrumental in the design and development of the current WISE healthcare model.
WISE is a scalable, replicable service based on Lifestyle Medicine principles that uses evidence-based lifestyle changes such as improving sleep hygiene, mental wellbeing and social connection, as well as healthy eating and physical activity matched to the participants’ capabilities.
With an emphasis on self-management to empower patients, WISE Wellness Coaches support participants for up to nine-months to overcome the challenges that ill health brings and to address what really matters to each unique individual.
Any person over 18 years old with a chronic health condition or symptom or on an NHS waiting list, can join the WISE service via the traditional clinical referral process (through a health professional) or by self-referral on the WISE website.
Patients referred to WISE also have personal tailored access to various digital healthcare social prescribing applications and digital health libraries. The service collaborates with many community partners as everyone can contribute towards the creation of wellness.
Dr Liza Thomas-Emrus said:
“It was a great honour to represent the CTM University Health Board at the annual conference and be given an opportunity to showcase our new Wellness Improvement Service in South Wales.
‘Now, more than ever, it is critical that we ensure lifestyle medicine gets to those that need it the most in our community. WISE will continue to address these issues, tackling health inequalities, and helping build a community where lifestyle medicine is accessible and beneficial to everyone.”
The BSLM brings together clinicians, scientists, researchers, health professionals and also patients, with the collective goal to transform healthcare and explore new approaches to the prevention, treatment, management and reversal of chronic disease.
Dr Ellen Fallows, Vice-President of the British Society of Lifestyle Medicine said:
"Liza and her team have recognised the harm to people on NHS waiting lists; their lives often being put on hold.
‘This trail-blazing Lifestyle Medicine initiative, presented at the BSLM 2022 conference, empowers patients and supports people to start the healing process themselves, often resulting in less hospital intervention by the time they reach the hospital setting.
‘The BSLM champions this pre-habilitation approach; the evidence suggests it is effective and well-received by patients; now we need to scale it up."
For further WISE information please email: CTM.WISE@wales.nhs.uk
Telephone: 01685 351 451 or visit the WISE website at: https://ctmuhb.nhs.wales/wise-ctm
Visit the British Society of Lifestyle Medicine (BSLM) website here: https://bslm.org.uk/
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