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FIA UPDATE let’s get moving


The FIA has taken an innovative approach that rethinks the pathway to physical activity, based on the latest evidence around behavioural change. David Stalker, the FIA’s executive director, reports


and premature mortality. And now, in partnership with behaviour change specialists Scintillate, the FIA has been commissioned – by a consortium of five Essex Primary Care Trusts – to deliver a physical activity care pathway based around the government’s ‘Let’s Get Moving’ framework. Let’s Get Moving is an evidence-based


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behaviour intervention model used by healthcare commissioners to embed the promotion of physical activity at the very core of the NHS. It’s based on the notion that physical activity can be used effectively by the NHS to manage and prevent over 20 conditions and diseases, and refl ects the commitment of the coalition to rebalance the relationship between the prevention and treatment of chronic disease. The programme was piloted by the


Department of Health, evaluated by the British Heart Foundation National Centre for Physical Activity & Health at Loughborough University, and is underpinned by NICE’s review of physical activity interventions.


behavioural change Based on motivational interviewing techniques (see HCM Sept 08, p38), the new programme is designed to assist healthcare practitioners in guiding inactive adults, aged 16–74, towards becoming more active through five key steps: recruit, screen, intervene, active participation, and review. Screening is based on PCT patient lists, selecting those with pre-existing health conditions such as obesity, Type 2 diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease. The project’s distinctive approach is


based on four key elements to achieving sustainable behaviour change: minimising attrition, behavioural change theory, behavioural change techniques and


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hysical inactivity is currently costing Essex plc £264m in lost working hours, sickness absence


NEWS


Motivate: Let’s Get Moving is an evidence-based behaviour intervention model


stakeholder engagement. Attrition is one of the biggest failings of a project of this type, so patient motivation is managed throughout the journey via telephone calls, emails, SMS and letters designed to remind and encourage. The programme comprises an initial


assessment by a healthcare professional, followed by a physical activity-specifi c motivational interview with a clinical exercise practitioner. There are then a number of appointments to monitor progress – the latest accelerometers are used to capture users’ activity data and eliminate the misreporting of physical activity – with the exit route being a sustained programme of physical activity. The FIA has begun implementation


of the programme in the Essex area by working alongside GP surgeries – in Halstead, Southend-on-Sea, Clacton-on- Sea, Basildon, Harlow and Colchester. A team of qualifi ed exercise instructors from among the FIA’s membership has been recruited to assume the role of clinical exercise practitioners; the team has received training to develop the skills required to deliver a safe and


Read Health Club Management online at healthclubmanagement.co.uk/digital


effective programme that will motivate patients into habitual activity. Over the coming months, FIA


members in the Essex area will also be asked to provide an affordable, short- term membership or non membership- based option to enable participants to make a smooth transition and maintain the level of physical activity or sport on completion of the intervention.


shaping opinion However, with NHS reforms changing the face of healthcare commissioning, GPs are the primary stakeholder in the initiative; engagement with them is fundamental to the success of this project. The FIA has successfully developed


a range of effective techniques to drive engagement with primary care practitioners and strengthening this will be a focus of the coming year. Indeed, with the introduction of GP consortia adopting a phased approach until April 2013, our industry must seize this opportunity to shape future healthcare commissioners’ opinions around physical activity and health.


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