Exercise Referral: Active & Healthy 4 Life scheme

Cambourne, Comberton, Impington, Melbourn, Sawston and Swavesey sports centres are now taking new referrals. Please see details below. 

The Active & Healthy 4 Life exercise referral scheme is designed to create a positive change through exercise for those patients with specific medical health conditions. The benefits are seen through attending regular exercise sessions of at least twice a week in addition to and enhancing daily life activities. The aim being that this is the start of the patients journey to include exercise as a regular part of daily life.

The Active & Healthy 4 Life scheme consists of the following:

  • An initial assessment with a qualified referral instructor
  • A personal exercise programme to follow in a gym environment
  • Patients are encouraged to attend a minimum of 2 sessions per week agreed with the instructor
  • A progress review at the end of the first month, with guidance provided by the instructor
  • Access to other classes/sessions on offer at the sports centre (providing health condition and progress means this is appropriate), with guidance provided by the instructor
  • Optional attendance at the set sessions.
  • Regular contact with the instructor.
  • A final assessment at 4 months is undertaken with the instructor and the patient discharged from the scheme.
  • The patient is encouraged to continue exercising at the sports centre and with activities established in daily life.

All instructors are qualified to level 3 exercise referral, to support you with the medical conditions that the scheme is designed for.

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

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

Referrals can be made by the below people by completing a referral form [PDF, 0.2MB]

  • GPs
  • Other medically qualified professional working at a GP surgery / medical centre 
  • Social prescriber / health coaches
  • Health professionals for example physiotherapist, diabetes nurse, dietitian or a mental health professional

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 find out more about the scheme, please contact AandH4L@scambs.gov.uk.

Cost to join the scheme and what is included:

  • £20 per month for 4 consecutive months paid to the sports centre by direct debit (except Cambourne)
  • 2 Sessions per week for 4 months
  • An initial and final assessment, a review after 1 month
  • As a member of the sports centre the patient will have access to other activities as guided by the instructor
  • The patient is encouraged to continue as a member of the sports centre after completing the scheme, with all the benefits that is included in their membership package (this will be discussed with them at the final assessment)

Access to the scheme is by referral from a GP or another health professional such as a physiotherapist, nurse or your surgery social prescriber / health coach. You can ask to be referred, and if your health professional is happy to refer you, he or she will complete the 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 your first assessment.

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)

The following Active & Healthy 4 Life sports centres are now taking new referrals. 

Cambourne fitness and sports centre

To join the scheme, contact Cambourne Exercise Referral Instructor – Emma Reeves – sports centre - 01954 714070

Comberton fitness centre

To join the scheme, contact the sports centre - 01223 264 721

Impington sports centre

To join the scheme, contact Ryan Baxter - sports centre - sportscentre@ivc.tela.org.uk

Melbourn sports centre

To join the scheme, contact  01763 263 313

Sawston sports centre

To join the scheme, contact Sawston Exercise Referral Instructor – Fleur Harrower – 01223 712555

Swavesey sports centre

To join the scheme, contact Swavesey Exercise Referral Instructor – Lorraine Wright – sports centre - 01954 234 453 

Gamlingay Leisure

To join the scheme, call 01767 651785 or email info@gamlingayleisure.org.uk

Linton Sports Centre

To join the scheme, call 01223 890248

Cottenham Sports Centre

To join the scheme, call 01954 288760

The following centres are planning to run exercise referral in the near future, please continue to check our website for updates:

  • Bottisham sports centre 
  • Northstowe sports centre

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