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21 Feb 2020

Leisure trust partners with NHS to get those with long-term conditions more physically active
BY Tom Walker

The scheme has been developed for adults who are living with, or at risk of developing, a medical condition

The scheme has been developed for adults who are living with, or at risk of developing, a medical condition
photo: Circadian Trust

Not-for profit leisure operator Circadian Trust is partnering with NHS GP surgeries in Gloucestershire to launch a local initiative which helps and supports people with medical or long-term conditions to become more physically active.

The Healthy Lifestyle Referral Scheme has been developed for adults who are living with, or at risk of developing, a medical condition and qualify as inactive.

The partnership will see five Active Lifestyle Centres – operated by Circadian Trust – work with South Gloucestershire Council and local GP surgeries to provide individuals with a health and wellbeing consultation and on-going support.

Each individual will be assessed and given personal goals, before being registered for a 12-week programme of physical activity.

The scheme will support the development of condition-specific exercise classes run by specialists, including sessions for those living with osteoarthritis or Parkinson’s.

Aiming to promote an active mind as well as an active body, the group exercise sessions also aim to provide a social space for people to meet and chat, often with a common health goal.

While most referral schemes rely solely on GPs for referrals, the Healthy Lifestyle Referral Scheme will be opened to referrals from other health professionals – such as specialist nurses or physiotherapists.

It is hoped that this will encourage those who are inactive, but do not have regular contact with their GP.

“What makes our scheme unique is our commitment to removing the barriers that might prevent people from getting involved in physical activity," said Jim Rollo, Healthy Lifestyle Referral Scheme manager at Circadian Trust.

"We have looked at creative ways that we can encourage people to get involved in a more active lifestyle, but for those with chronic health conditions, we understand that the barriers are substantial.

“To help break down these barriers, we have opened referrals up to other health care professionals and we have developed the group exercise sessions we have on offer.

"We now offer sessions which are tailored to specific conditions such as osteoarthritis or Parkinson’s.

"The social nature of these group exercise sessions is also important in opening up the world of fitness, as it gives those on the scheme the chance to talk about their health and wellbeing or simply catch up with familiar faces every week.”

There are currently five Active Lifestyle Centres operated by not-for-profit organisation Circadian Trust across South Gloucestershire - in Bradley Stoke, Kingswood, Longwell Green, Thornbury and Yate.



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