The ‘diversity of challenges’ surrounding men’s health is leading to a variety of ‘innovative approaches’ as a series of nurse-led projects take off.
The Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI) has granted 11 projects up to £5,000 as part of a year-long programme to confront medical issues affecting men. Since 1992, 250 such projects have received money and support to get off the ground as part of yearly funding programmes.
Located all across the UK, the various projects will also receive a year’s worth of support from the QNI as part of a professional development programme. The projects have sprung up in areas including London, Bath, Cardiff, Doncaster, Huddersfield and Dorset.
QNI director of programmes Anne Pearson has led the initiative for the past 12 years. She said: ‘The difference that these projects make in improving the lives of patients is remarkable and independent research has shown that many of them make a long lasting difference in improving nursing practice far beyond their original goals.
‘This latest round of projects shows the diversity of challenges facing healthcare for men, and the innovative approaches that community nurses are trialling to address those challenges around the country. Many men are living with long term conditions and community healthcare is vital in helping them to manage those conditions effectively.’
Prior to the launch, charity Men’s Health Forum held a workshop to address the health issues facing men today. Attendees were told one in five men dies before 65 and they are less likely to seek medical attention for ailments than women.
Men’s Health Forum chief executive Martin Tod said: ‘It was great to see such a diverse range of nursing experience and such commitment to improving men's health. We’re really looking forward to seeing the results and helping spread them more widely.’
Among the 11 projects include the Light Bulb Course – a group-based trauma treatment for veterans with PTSD – and Best Foot Forward, which will aim to improve the foot health of homeless men in Bath.
Other areas covered by the projects include antipsychotic prescription management, weight monitoring, prostate cancer and paternal postnatal depression.
‘It is well established that men of working age are less likely to access healthcare services, which can lead to them becoming more unwell,’ Ms Pearson continued. ‘By bringing those projects together, sharing knowledge and problem-solving collectively, we can help increase the reach and capacity of the projects to improve the health of many individuals, and improve learning and leadership.’
Each of the projects will run until March 2018, after which the QNI will publish a report on their outcomes.