Many of the improvement programmes at CLAHRC Northwest London centre around the principles of preventative medicine and care. As we all know the most basic preventative care is to maintain a healthy eating and exercise regime.

Current projects that make this goal measurably easier include iHydrate, which ensures the adequate water intake and hydration of care home residents. Dehydration is a significant problem among older people, which has adverse effects on their health and can result in admission to hospital.  I-Hydrate aims to optimise the hydration of residents and increase the number of residents consuming their daily target fluid intake.

Another project which emphasizes the maintenance of healthy habits is SHINE, now in its second round, which promotes both physical and mental wellbeing. Most people will have a range of health needs spanning both mental and physical wellbeing. Unfortunately, health services are often provided in a way that does not recognise the inter relationships between physical and mental health.

NIHR CLAHRC NWL has also funded My Medication Passport (MMP), a patient-held record of medicines, designed by patients, for patients. It is available as a pocket-sized booklet and as a smartphone app originally designed to help patients to make a record of their own medicines list and any medication changes in order to improve communication about medicines between patients, carers and healthcare professionals. While nutrition and exercise should always be the cornerstones of a healthy lifestyle, some long-term conditions require more medical influence and it is important to keep the facts and details of that care in one easily accessed location.

Improvement programmes like these, and more in our latest round of funding, make it easy and manageable to make good choices regarding daily food and exercise choices. Even when we all do our best sometimes we need a helping hand.