Are you Set for Surgery?

The Morecambe Bay #SetForSurgery perioperative wellness programme focuses on improving the health and wellbeing of patients before their surgery. It is a wide ranging programme, co-designed by colleagues both in the hospital and the community, as well as patients and voluntary organisations.  


It is a whole system approach, setting patient expectations from the point of first GP consultation, embedded in surgical teams and backed up now with waiting list and preoperative assessment based personnel, safety netting the programme, to ensure that all patients are offered this approach. No-one loses their place in the ‘queue’, and no arbitrary targets are set, nor used to deny patients treatment – it is simply about delivering the best, for the maximum number.  


All patients managed by general and orthopaedic surgery in Morecambe Bay will receive information on improving their health, this could include advice on accessing services such as smoking cessation, weight management or free passes to health centres. The vast majority of patients can benefit from some improvement to their health and fitness, and this can have a significant impact on their outcomes and recovery times. Some patients may be identified for further support to ensure they are in the best health possible ahead of their surgery. 


This is a wide ranging programme with multiple key points of development. In addition to providing a central point of reference to patients, a large scale volunteering element is being planned to enhance the support available, details of which will be announced as this is developed. 


We are looking for volunteers to help signpost patients through their health and wellbeing journey. Appropriate training will be given and you will be supported by a dedicated Volunteer Coordinator. 


If you are interested in becoming a volunteer please contact Annette Shepherd, Volunteer Coordinator for further information on or telephone 01229 404434. 


Whilst this approach is simply the “right thing” to do, it is worth highlighting that results from the initial pilot scheme were very positive. Of the 130 patients who took part, 80% exhibited improvement in at least one risk factor e.g. weight loss, regular exercise habit, stopping smoking ; after a three month period. In addition 3% had improved their health to such a degree they no longer wished to have surgery; conversely two patients who declined taking part in the programme had their surgery cancelled on the day due to health risk factors requiring improvement. 


We will be sharing more on the #setforsurgery programme as it develops.  


Having some treatments or an operation can affect your body for several months afterwards. Several common factors can reduce your body’s ability to deal with the stress of these. The effect of all these factors is that you may be at an increased risk of complications following your operation or treatment this could be a prolonged hospital stay and problems when you leave hospital (such as reduced independence).


What do I need to do?

Put simply, exercising more, eating more healthily and adopting healthier behaviours can help to:

·reduce the length of your stay in hospital

·reduce complications

·enhance your recovery

·in some cases, avoid the need for an operation completely

Your GP, consultant or member of your healthcare team will be able to advise you what steps you can take in improve your health and wellbeing leading up to (and following) your treatment or operation.


Any lifestyle changes that you make will not only benefit you in the run up to your treatment or operation but if you continue will also have long-term benefits to your health and quality of life. Research has shown that these changes help to prevent the development of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke etc. This will help you to remain fit and well, as you get older. Studies in surgical patients show that positive changes made before surgery can persist long after surgery.

Stopping smoking is one of the healthiest choices you can make, help is available on the links below


(North Lancashire)

Quit Squad - 0800 3286297


(South Cumbria)

Pharmacy Smoking Cessation Service. A list of pharmacies to access support can be found




There is a lot of support available for those who want help in tackling their addictions:


(North Lancashire)

Alcohol and drugs Inspire North Lancashire -

Single Point of Contact 08081 698 673

The Well - 01524 415919


(South Cumbria)

Alcohol and drugs Unity

Barrow - 01229 207020

Kendal - 01539 244004 - 0800 2 54 56 58 Well - 01229 829832




Increasing your physical activity is one of the best things you can do, both in terms of preparing for surgery, and generally - you can find links to some of your local options below


(North Lancashire)

Salt Ayre Leisure Centre, Lancaster01524 847540

Healthy Weight course

(South Cumbria)

Kendal Leisure Centre, Kendal

Park Leisure Centre, Barrow in Furness 01229 871146

Ulverston Leisure Centre, Ulverston

Active Cumbria


Cumbria Healthwise scheme -




Health and Wellbeing Coaches (HAWCs)

For information about support available and how to access visit: call and ask to speak to the on duty Health and Wellbeing Coach for your area:

Allerdale and Copeland:0300 303 3589

Barrow and South Lakes: 0300 303 2704

Carlisle and Eden: 0300 303 3249



There are a number of health apps available, below are two options we can suggest


NHS Better Health - provides individual plans and support to; lose weight, eat healthier, quit smoking and get


The ORB - you can select and add online services/apps relevant to you. If you want to; lose weight, manage a condition, quit smoking, book a council service or get help & advice you can centralise access through the ORB app, making it easier to use digital services when you need them. Search “ORB Universe”.

A new health programme has launched in Morecambe to encourage local residents to improve their health and wellbeing. The initiative is led by Local GP Dr Phil Batty, of Bay Medical Group, Bay Primary Care Network and Bay Integrated Care Community (ICC).

‘Walk with a Doc’ is a health programme that brings doctors and patients together to walk every second and fourth Saturday of the month starting on Saturday 10 July. Dr Batty will lead the walks with his wife Joann Batty, a nurse at Sedbergh Medical Practice. The meeting point is the Battery in Morecambe (Near the Beach Café) at 11am.  

The programme consists of a walk which will last about one hour and starts with a health talk, it is open to the whole community and the route (along the prom) is accessible for all. Participation is free and pre-registration is not required. Walkers will enjoy a refreshing and rejuvenating walk with Dr Phil Batty and other healthcare professionals, who will provide support to participants and answer questions about exercise and nutrition during the walk.



The NHS Digital Weight Management Programme supports adults living with obesity who also have a diagnosis of diabetes or hypertension or both, to manage their weight and improve their health.

The NHS Digital Weight Management Programme is a 12-week online behavioural and lifestyle programme. People can access it via a smartphone or computer with internet access.

Is it safe to participate in exercise prior to surgery?

Yes, exercise is generally safe and good for your health. The risk of harm to you whilst exercising is low. However, some people may have health conditions which make it difficult to do certain exercises. If you have any concerns about exercising these can be discussed further with a member of your healthcare team.

What will happen about support after my surgery or treatment?

Before you leave hospital, you should be given information about what you need to do to help your recovery and about your rehabilitation programme. You will be encouraged to continue with exercise or to make lifestyle changes after you have had your operation or treatment. This can be discussed with your GP, consultant or member of your healthcare team after your operation.

What support is available to help me prepare for my treatment or operation in my local area?

The support available locally to help you make lifestyle changes may vary depending on where you live in Morecambe Bay. You may also wish to talk to a member of your General Practice team about support to make any lifestyle changes. S/he may be able to refer you to a Social Prescribing Link Worker for support.

But I already lead a healthy lifestyle!

Even if you already are fit and active, with positive habits, focusing on these helps to keep you resilient through the healthcare journey, both physically and mentally. Making small changes can make a big difference. Moving more, making changes to eating habits, reducing alcohol consumption or whatever your goal might be, there are services and resources to support you if you need them.




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