World Heart Day and Future Directions CIC

29th September 2017 |

29th September 2017 is World Heart Day

Small changes can make a powerful difference. On World Heart Day, we would like to share with you as to how you can power your heart and inspire people in our community to be heart healthy.

At Future Directions, our heart is the most important part of our bodies.  It allows us to live every day, love every day and be active every day.

At Future Directions we ensure the health needs of the people we support are always assessed when they first come into the service. The assessment covers:

Personal care and physical wellbeing
Diet and weight, including dietary preferences
Sight, hearing and communication
Oral Health
Foot Care
Mobility and Dexterity
History of Falls
Mental state and Cognition

In each case the assessment is used to prepare, develop or update the person’s Health Action Plan which sets out in detail the action which needs to be taken to ensure all the aspects of health, personal and social support needs of the person are met.  We as an organisation are fully aware that Action Plans such as these are of the upmost importance and that is one of the reasons we employ registered nurse professionals at all levels, in order to ensure the Health Action Plan is not just a paper exercise, but something which is ongoing throughout the care of the person we are supporting and it is something which is bespoke and organic in the way it develops throughout their care.

Health Action Planning:

Our Health Action planning is person centred in both process and outcomes and always keeps the person at the centre, reflecting what is important to them, now and in the future and to minimise health barriers to achieve life goals.

The Health Action Plan is a personal support plan, it details what the person or their support staff can do to maintain or manage any existing health concerns to stay healthy. This includes:

Listing  any support or help others may need to be aware of to help the person stay healthy and or to maintain good health.
Ensure the person supported receives the services and support they need to stay healthy.
Identify things people can do to be healthy.
What things  a person may need to keep healthy.
What things they are doing to keep fit and well.

A Health Action Plan:

Is developed with the person supported and those closest to them who know them well.
Takes account of an individual’s concerns.
Takes account of Individual lifestyles, cultural and health issues when developing and reviewing Health Action Plans.
Where appropriate involve Primary Care and generic health services
Records all appointments attended included dental, chiropody, and ophthalmic and outcomes following the appointments. This is then fed back at our monthly Governance Meeting and discussed with Future Directions Board of Directors.
Monthly weights and BMI’s are undertaken and recorded within the Health Action Plan which are also fed back at our monthly Governance Meeting and discussed with Future Directions Board of Directors.
Gives the person the opportunity to take control over their own health and encourages them to make healthy choices.
Ensures people are well both in body and mind.

People with learning disabilities have a high risk of developing problems with their health and are at risk of coronary heart disease. Coronary heart disease is the second cause of death for people with a learning disability. With this in mind, a heavy focus is made on keeping a healthy heart.  People with learning disabilities are more likely to develop hypertension and obesity and lack exercise all of which are risk factors for ischaemic hear disease. People with Downs’s Syndrome are at higher risk of congenital problems.

At Future Directions CIC we encourage both the people we support and their staff teams to promote good health and wellbeing and organise the following activities:

Free weekly yoga sessionsDaily active sessions 
Regular dog walking events
Organised 5k and 10k runs/walks
Cycling races with support workers
Cycling to work schemes
Encouraging movement in the outdoors
Healthy eating cooking sessions

It is important for everyone to be a healthy weight, Future Directions staff encourage healthy eating and develop with the people we support healthy eating menu plans. Staff also provide information about diet and nutrition, cooking and regular exercise. There are also provide easy read leaflets on food and exercise.

We currently support people who are members at weightwatchers and slimming world which has proved very successful in understanding foods which are healthy and how they affect their hearts.

We have had a number of the people we support seek advice and give up smoking.  This has had an excellent affect on those individuals allowing them to have more money to do things they couldn't afford before, health improvements and the ability to do more active activities.  Future Directions CIC will endeavour to support people to access a flexible range of activities which are varied to suit expectations, preferences and capacities of the person’s needs.


The people we support are encouraged to participate in regular moderate exercise and we incorporate this into their weekly activity plans.

If a person supported has an identified health condition this will be recorded in their Health Action Plan in conjunction with a Health Support Plan which describes in detail how to support the person and manage the condition.

If a person supported has a specific heart condition we will support the person to attend all medical appointments, and ensure the appropriate health professionals are involved in the persons care and treatment. If the person is required to have regular monitoring such as having their Blood Pressure taken Future Directions CIC staff will receive training and will then ensure this is taken and recorded in the person’s Health Action Plan.

Future Directions staff not only guide and assist the people they support, they have gone above and beyond in ensuring that all individuals within the organisation understand why and how they can look after their hearts more effectively, in order to live a more fulfilled and happy life.

We want our staff and people we support to know their heart, fuel their heart, move their heart and love their heart every single day.

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