Health Psychologists from Cardiff Met organised a Behaviour Change workshop to broaden the discussion on introducing behaviour change support for primary care.
Health Psychologists are the only health professionals who are trained at doctoral level in behaviour change and therefore are in a position to offer valuable support to changes in health related behaviour which can lead to improvements in health outcomes and relieve pressure on GPs.
The event addressed ways to support GPs in relation to behaviour change and included presentations from Health Psychologists working in Primary Care in Scotland, representatives of Public Health Wales and other professionals involved in health related behaviour change.
The workshop was funded by Cardiff Met and the British Psychological Society Division of Health Psychology. It was designed to give GPs and other interested parties an opportunity to be involved in discussions with health psychologists around shaping the future of behaviour change in primary care.
The workshop also provided an opportunity to consider the benefits and barriers to the introduction of behaviour change specialists into the multi-professional primary care team and also to think about the competencies that are required in order to be effective in that role.
Speaking at the event, Dr Caroline Limbert from Cardiff Met said: “The tone of the event was all very positive, whilst being realistic, as the introduction of behaviour change specialists into the multi-professional primary health care team represents a big change to the current system and change doesn't happen overnight.
“It is also important to get it right, but there is the potential to make a big difference. There has so far just been one such trial of introducing health psychologists into primary care in the UK - and that was in Scotland. The health psychologists working on that project presented their evaluation at the workshop and it has been found to be very successful and offered a lot of learning opportunities to take forward as we build momentum in this area.”
To read this story in Welsh, click here.