The Falkland Islands government Public Health Advisor, Carol Morrison, is set to launch a survey this week to gather data on the community’s lifestyle habits, perceptions of health, access to health care and barriers to health.
The survey will be divided into seven sections: demographic information, general health, physical health, the food you eat, smoking, alcohol, and sunbathing and sunburn.
According to Carol, “undertaking this kind of research in conjunction with routine collection of population health statistics is vital to governments to help shape public health policy and inform decision makers where to best direct resources to make improvements for the community.”
Carol will receive guidance and direction for the project from Professor Stephen Fallows of the Clinical Sciences & Nutrition Department at the University of Chester, with whom Carol is currently studying for an MSc.
Chester University have also granted ethical approval for the project supported by the Policy & Economic Development Unit. The survey will solely be carried out by post, and everyone aged 18 and over residing in the Islands will be invited to participate.
The survey will be completely anonymous, but there will be an opportunity to enter a £100 prize draw by providing a contact number or address on a detachable page that will be kept separate from the rest of the survey.
The results of the survey will aim to build on the Mental Health and Wellbeing survey carried out by Senior Community Psychiatric Nurse Karen Rimicans in April 2017. The headline results of that survey are expected in the middle of this year.
The survey pack will include an invitation letter, the survey and a return envelope. If you have not received one by the end of March 2019 please contact Carol on 28435 or email cmorrison@sec. gov.fk The survey will remain open until 10 May 2019.
In related news the Health and Medical Services Committee met last week, and discussed a suggestion from deputy portfolio holder MLA Roger Spink that more effort should be made to publicize successes at King Edward Memorial Hospital, KEMH.
MLA Spink gave as an example the recent contract for the upkeep of all hospital equipment being won by a local company. KEMH have also met with greater success in their recent recruitment efforts.
Agreeing, Chief Medical Officer Beccy Edwards cited recent comments by a visiting NHS training team on the excellence of the hospital medical staff. The committee agreed that more effort should be made to contact local media with this sort of news.
Other subjects raised included a new weight limit of 100 kilos for the med-evacuations on the A400 airplane.
However, CMO Edwards was keen to point out that other options, such as alternate airplanes, or going without a stretcher, would be available in extremis.
Progress is being made on the Mental Health Improvement Group, the committee heard. KEMH will soon be reaching out to service users and interested parties to see if they would be interested in joining a consultative group.
The committee welcomed new Hospital Manager Anne Hunt, and bid farewell to Director of Health and Social Services Mandy Whittingham, for whom this was the last committee meeting. (Penguin News).