National examples of successful programmes
- Let’s Get Moving – a behaviour change programme based on NICE recommendations which endorse the importance of physical activity as a means to promote good health and prevent disease as well as endorsing brief interventions as being both clinically and cost-effective for delivery by the NHS. Around one in four people in England say they would be more active if they were advised to do so by a GP or nurse and Let’s Get Moving provides a care pathway for physical activity that can be integrated into routine clinical practice. The scheme aims to help people understand the impact of their behaviour on their health, to feeling positive about changing their behavior and to make a personal commitment to change. Following a brief intervention, participants are followed up at regular intervals, at least over 3, 6 and 12 months, to check progress, encourage and re-set their activity goals.
- Get Set to Go – a 3 year project run by Mind which engaged 75,000 people with mental health problems in sport and physical activity. The project’s research objectives were to understand the relationship between sport and mental health recovery, the effectiveness of the peer navigator model, impact of online peer support on mental health and sports participation. On average participants increased their activity levels by 1.3 days a week, with at least one more day of vigorous activity. Peer Navigators were found to be the most useful element of the project.
Local examples of successful programmes
- Steps to Health programme – an exercise referral scheme run by the borough’s leisure operator, Parkwood Leisure, as part of the indoor leisure contract. There are currently in excess of 1,400 people on this12 week gym-based exercise programme. Following referral by GPs or Health Practitioners clients are assessed and given an individual supervised exercise plan. The scheme was reviewed by UK Active Research Institute in 2016 alongside physical activity counselling. The study concluded that combining a traditional supervised exercise programme with physical activity counselling showed the best results and a high retention rate (75%). This now forms the basis of the Steps to Health programme.
- BEAT – a 2 year Sport England grant funded programme to look at the impact of physical activity and peer support in reducing the risk factors of type 2 diabetes. The project, which ended in December 2017, offered participants education sessions and one free activity a week. Over 1,700 people joined the project and 27% got active (at least 1 x 30 minutes a week) after 3 months. Around 40% of those people still engaged after 6 months had reduced their BMI and other risk factors. There were also significant improvements in overall wellbeing after 3 months which was maintained throughout the project. The project is currently being independently reviewed by Christ Church Canterbury University, with full results published summer 2018.
- Direct Community Engagement – the local authority developed and introduced many innovate and new engagement techniques to deliver important messages to the inactive and high risk population in the communities where there is known higher risk. Programmes such as Now’s, the Time Thamesmead and BEAT were based on an annual programme of community roadshows , reinforcing the messages, developing relationships direct with residents and building confidence in the programme . Different techniques were used to gain attention, support of community artists, street play and targeting pubs and cafes. We found that giving the opportunity for those at risk to talk and “self-refer” in this way produced good results.