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Former RCN leader's charity launches new weight management app for nurses

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A new smartphone application, or “app”, has been launched this week with the specific aim of helping nursing staff to manage their weight.

Those behind the NURSING YOU app, which is described as being “designed by nurses, for nurses”, include former Royal College of Nursing general secretary and economist Christine Hancock.

The weight management app is free for nurses to download and forms part of a research project that hit the headlines at the end of last year with its findings that one in four members of the profession in England were obese.

The app’s features include tracking tools for activities such as sleep and exercise, healthy recipes, resources on wellbeing topics, a community function to chat with other nurses and goal setting to earn badges.

The technology initiative came about through a collaboration between the London-based charity C3 Collaborating for Health and global health and employment services provider MAXIMUS.

The app is intended to enable nurses to “reflect on how they make decisions at work and identify goals to help achieve and maintain a healthier weight”, according to C3.

The charity said the innovation built on research published in the journal BMJ Open in December as part of the Healthy Weight Initiative for Nurses (WIN.).

The app emerged from a successful pilot of the idea as an “interactive PDF” – a type of commonly used data sharing file – during the WIN. project.

“We want nurses everywhere to engage with and use NURSING YOU”

Michaela Nuttall

From 2015 to 2017, C3 led the WIN. partnership which engaged with over 400 obese nurses to hear their thoughts about what initiatives should be implemented to help nurses manage their weight.

What emerged was NURSING YOU, which was “designed specifically with nurses’ unique workplace struggles in mind”, said C3, noting that the app used the MAXIMUS WellbeingZone platform.

Michaela Nuttall, C3’s nursing associate, said: “We are delighted to respond to popular demand that nurses wanted an app that was designed by nurses, for nurses.

“We want nurses everywhere to engage with and use NURSING YOU, along with sharing their experiences and celebrating successes throughout 2018,” she said. “It is fantastic that our collaboration with MAXIMUS has helped make this happen.”

MAXIMUS is one of the largest providers of employment, health and disability support programmes in the UK. It uses digital platforms and technology to provide interactive tools designed to improve behaviour.

C3

New weight management app ‘designed by nurses, for nurses’

NURSING YOU app

Operating from more than 270 locations in the UK, it employs 4,000 local staff, including over 1,400 doctors, nurses, occupational therapists and other healthcare professionals.

Ms Hancock was general secretary of the RCN for 12 years, from 1989 to 2001, and then served as president of the International Council of Nurses. She founded C3 in 2009 as a London-based charity with a global vision of stemming the epidemic of chronic disease through prevention

The charity seeks to build collaborations to promote three behaviour changes – improving diet and avoiding harmful alcohol use, stopping smoking, and increasing physical activity.

It has so far partnered on projects with over 50 organisations including local authorities, healthcare providers, health service trusts and businesses in the banking, food, and pharmaceutical industries.

The app was launched by Ms Hancock, who is C3’s director, and Dr Paul Williams, managing director of UK Health Services for MAXIMUS, at the annual Wellbeing Symposium event in Ashford in Kent on 21 February.

NURSING YOU is free to download and use for nurses. Nurses who are interested are being asked to email C3 via nursingyou@c3health.org to request the special code, which then allows them to download the app. For more information and to download the app visit the NURSING YOU website.

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