Exercise Referral: Active & Healthy 4 Life scheme

What is it?

Active & Healthy 4 Life is the council’s exercise referral scheme for residents with medical conditions. It runs in sports centres across the district and is a 12-week personalised fitness programme drawn up and supervised by qualified instructors. 

Who is it for?

The scheme is for adults with one or more of the following medical conditions: 

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Back pain
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Joint replacement
  • Osteoporosis
  • Asthma
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Diabetes

Referral form

Fileactive_and_healthy_4_life_referral_form.docx

Information for GPs and other Health Professionals

Active & Healthy for Life is South Cambridgeshire’s exercise referral scheme. It operates in accordance with the Department of Health’s National Quality Assurance Framework (NQAF) for Exercise Referral systems.

Access to the scheme is by referral by a GP or other medically qualified person working at a GP surgery or other medical centre registered with the scheme. 

Referrals should be made using the scheme referral form which can be downloaded here.

Fileactive_and_healthy_4_life_referral_form.docx

The completed and signed referral form should be given to the patient as he or she will need to take this to their initial assessment at a participating sports centre. It is the patient’s responsibility to contact the sports centre of their choice and make an appointment for their initial assessment. 

To register a new health centre with the scheme, or to find out more, please contact AandH4L@scambs.gov.uk.

Prices

Initial assessment: £8.00

Final assessment: £8.00

Sessions: £3.00 each, payable in two instalments of £36.00

How to get on the scheme

Access to the scheme is by referral from a GP or another health professional such as a physiotherapist or nurse. You can ask to be referred, and if your health professional is happy to refer you, he or she will complete the scheme referral form and give it to you. You then make an appointment at the sports centre of your choice for an initial assessment. Bring the referral form with you to this appointment. 

The programme explained

All referral instructors are qualified and registered on the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPS) at level 3, and qualified to support you with the medical conditions that the scheme is designed for.

At your first appointment, the referral instructor will do an initial assessment. This will provide the instructor with the information needed to devise a suitable exercise programme and may include some simple physical tests.

The referral instructor will devise a 12-week programme to meet your needs. Sessions are supervised allowing you plenty of support and encouragement.

When you have completed the programme, the referral instructor will do a final assessment. This is your chance to review and look to the future. The referral instructor will help you decide how to continue with regular exercise. This may mean continuing with gym sessions, or exploring other options such as exercise classes or walking, running or cycling groups.

The benefits of exercise

The Chief Medical Officer called exercise a ‘wonder drug’ or ‘miracle cure’ (Annual Report 2009). 

Regular physical activity reduces shortness of breath in people with COPD and increases their ability to exert themselves. It lowers blood pressure and leads to reductions in cholesterol levels. There is a wealth of evidence showing the effectiveness of exercise in the treatment of depression. It has a significant beneficial effect on blood sugar level and works well as a treatment for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. 

Osteoarthritis is sometimes thought to be related to “wear and tear” yet physical activity improves symptoms of osteoarthritis by up to 83% and does not lead to worsening of this condition. It has benefits in reducing pain, increasing function, improving quality of life and mental health. Exercise can lead to improvement in low back pain and increase muscle strength and co-ordination.

This information is taken from the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges Report: Exercise: The miracle cure and the role of the doctor in promoting it, (February 2015)

Centres and session times

Active & Healthy 4 Life operates at eight sports centres in South Cambridgeshire. All sessions are one hour long. Please check session times with the centre as they may be subject to change.

Cambourne Fitness and Sports Centre 01954 714070, sessions on Tuesday at 10:00 a.m.

Comberton Fitness Centre 01223 264721, sessions on Monday and Thursday at 9:30 am and 10:30 a.m.

Cottenham Sports Centre 01954 288760, sessions on Tuesday and Thursday at 4:00 p.m.

Gamlingay Fitness Centre 01767 651785, sessions on Tuesday and Thursday at 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.

Impington Sports Centre 01223 200404, sessions on Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. and Friday at 11:00 a.m.

Melbourn Sports Centre 01763 263313, sessions on Monday and Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. and Tuesday and Thursday at 10:00 a.m.

Sawston Sports Centre 01223 712555, sessions on Monday and Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. and Wednesday and Friday at 11:00 a.m.

Swavesey Village College Sports Centre 01954 234453, sessions Monday to Thursday at 3:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.

For more information

For more information about the Active and Healthy 4 Life scheme, please contact AandH4L@scambs.gov.uk or call us on 01954 713070.

Contact Details