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Move, eat, treat – how to deliver effective lifestyle advice

A project run in Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust

Related themes

  • Improving training programmes and pathways
  • Mental health


This project was developed in response to the crisis of obesity and lifestyle-related chronic disease that society is facing. 800,000 UK adults are currently morbidly obese and over half of adults will be obese by 2050. Additionally, the prevalence of lifestyle-driven disease such as type II diabetes is soaring, with five million people projected to have the disease by 2025. Diabetes already accounts for 10% (more than £10bn) of the NHS budget. Regardless of this, medical education poorly equips doctors to deliver effective lifestyle advice to patients, despite its proven efficacy.
Both the Royal College of Physicians and Academy of Medical Royal Colleges have recently called for much more lifestyle advice teaching in medical curricula. This deficit is reflected in doctor’s practice whereby over half of patients have never been given any lifestyle advice by their General Practitioner (GP).

Project objectives

  • To equip all foundation trainees with the ability to deliver effective lifestyle advice.
  • To evaluate and measure impact, and to disseminate these findings.
  • To ensure sustainability in the project.
  • To contribute to a change in perception to the role of health professionals in the modern NHS.
  • To disseminate widely via presentation and publication, and to catalyse national adoption through the development of an open access toolkit of teaching resources.


  • Delivered teaching to foundation doctors at four trusts, this teaching was part of the formal foundation teaching programme.
  • Two additional pilot teaching sessions took place at one of the trusts.
  • A range of medics varying in seniority were taught how to teach the material. These individuals then became tutors who delivered the teaching sessions.
  • A statistically significant increase was seen in the learners’ knowledge of lifestyle advice and their confidence in delivering it.
  • Disseminated project information at a number of national and local conferences.
  • The project has appeared in the NHS QI newsletter and the Better Training Better Care newsletter.
  • An open-access “education library” of resources is being developed for clinicians and patients, which will be accessible via moveeattreat.org.
  • Documented improvements in learners’ knowledge of and confidence in delivering lifestyle advice, leading to changes in clinical practice on the wards and therefore gradual changes in perception of the role of the modern healthcare professional.


Please look at the materials in the related documents section below. The top tips and business cases have been developed by the BTBC team to support organisations to implement these changes and the case studies and project resources have been developed and approved by the project teams.

The top tips include lessons learnt that have been identified throughout the project. The business case will guide you through the management principles and communications and engagement activities. The case studies provide a detailed overview of the project. Feel free to adapt these resources to suit your projects.
Your organisation may have its own materials and templates that you can use or you may find the NHS Improving Quality (NHS IQ) learning handbook useful too.

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