A new “lads’ mag” has been published by the NHS in Brighton and Hove in a groundbreaking initiative aimed at getting healthy lifestyles messages across to younger men.
FIT magazine includes exclusive interviews with rock legend Ozzy Osbourne and TV presenter Dermot O’Leary, as well as local facts and information about smoking, drink and drugs, healthy eating and sexual health.
Brighton and Hove City Teaching Primary Care Trust (PCT) is one of a group of PCTs across England piloting the magazine, amid concern that younger men in particular simply ignore or throw away traditional NHS information leaflets.
The PCT also published this month the Winter 2004 edition of Your Life! magazine, a women’s glossy style publication available free of charge through a range of local organisations including high street retailers, newsagents, hairdressers and nail salons.
Denise Lewis, Girls Aloud, and Eastenders' Michael Phipps are just some of the stars who tell their stories to the magazine which hits the streets this week. Local information includes a guide to Brighton and Hove’s dentists, interviews with a Brighton woman who is successfully managing her severe endemetriosis condition thanks to the local NHS ‘Living Well’ programme, and an in-depth guide to getting fast, effective treatment without going to A&E.
Both magazines were published with the help of Dr Foster, the independent healthcare information provider. The magazine will be distributed free of charge through local retailers, colleges and clubs over the next couple of weeks.
Richard Forshaw, Head of Communications and Brighton and Hove City Teaching Primary Care Trust, said:
“We decided to produce FIT magazine as we realise the importance of tailoring health messages to different target audiences. Younger men from disadvantaged groups are notoriously difficult for the NHS to engage with and FIT speaks to themusing language and images that both inform and entertain them. We hope that targeting young men in this way will be a far more effectivemeans of getting our health and wellness messages.
“Similarly, Your Life! is one way we can communicate important health advice and local information to those who are not already receiving help from the NHS, or who are trying to live healthier lifestyles.”
FIT Editor Tom Whitwell added: “Younger men often think they’re invincible, so there’s not much point in trying to preach to them. What FIT does is convey important health information – but with some familiar faces and a few laughs thrown in.”
Brighton and Hove City Primary Care Trust is part of the NHS. It is responsible for the health of people in the city, for tackling health inequalities and for bringing health and social care more closely together. It holds the NHS budget, steers the work of GPs and makes sure hospital services are in place to meet local people’s needs.
Brighton and Hove City Teaching PCT is one of 23 PCTs involved in piloting FIT magazine.
The first edition includes:
Your Life! is distributed by NHS primary care trusts through a range of organisations such as NHS premises, newsagents, high street retailers, hairdressing salons and nail bars.
The winter edition of Your Life! includes:
Dr Foster Ltd is an independent company publishing healthcare information. Overseen by an independent Ethics Committee, it has published guides on hospitals and various other aspects of healthcare.
© Brighton and Hove City Primary Care Trust