We’re committed to helping people to stay fit and healthy. And if they need a little help with that – we’re on hand. We have specialist teams working in a number of our London boroughs dedicated to offering a programme called Healthwise. This is designed to help those with health conditions where physical activity may improve their overall wellbeing.
Healthwise members who are referred by their GPs receive an individually tailored programme and access to the classes and courses designed to help them manage and even improve their condition.
Healthwise is currently available in:
- Waltham Forest
Similar services to Healthwise are also available in:
- Tower Hamlets
- City of Westminster
- Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
- South Oxfordshire
- West Oxfordshire
- South Bucks
We also offer a wide range of health initiatives in partnership with a number of agencies. These programmes include:
- Physical Activity Referral Scheme (PARS)
- Cardiac rehabilitation
- Weight management courses
- Healthy walks
- Musculoskeletal and back care courses
- Quit smoking services
- Mental health
- Falls provention
- Stroke rehab
- COPD courses
- Cancer Rehabilitation
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GLL’s firm belief that physical activity at appropriate levels can have a beneficial effect upon the health of an individual, underpins our commitment to the provision of the Physical Activity Referral Schemes (PARS) within our Partnerships.
PARS Programmes within GLL are a joint partnership project between GLL, Public Health and Local Authorities – all driven by a desire to break down barriers to physical activity and to tackle health inequalities in their Partnerships. The model of PARS employed by the Better Health Team, is designed to provide independently tailored opportunities for patients with existing medical conditions to be referred to a specifically designed physical activity programme, at an affordable rate.
Operating in GLL since 2004, the model of PARS has been externally evaluated by both Gloucester University (2006) and UEL (2008). The model continues to be evaluated and validated by Commissioners in order to determine it’s effectiveness at achieving agreed aims and objectives model (Hackney 2010, 2011 & 2012).
In addition to the core PARS delivery, additional elements have been introduced to each programme to ensure that they are bespoke to the Communities in which they are delivered. These elements include:
- Cardiac Phase III/IV Adult Weight management Courses (Tier 2 delivery & support for Tier 3)
- Family Weight management Courses
- Musculoskeletal Courses
- Health Checks Activity Pathway
Other services that can be facilitated through our programmes include:
- Falls Prevention Classes
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) classes
- Cancer Rehabilitation
- Mental Health programme
- Diabetes awareness programme
The Phase IV Cardiac Rehabilitation Programme (12 week) is continued cardiac rehabilitation for those clients who have successfully completed Phase III or for those who are referred by their GP/Health Professional with heart conditions.
The scheme provides clients with access to appropriate group exercise classes and progression onto an individualised gym programmes. The purpose of the course is to increase awareness of the benefits of physical activity and provide tools to change or maintain physical activity patterns and other positive lifestyle behaviours including healthy eating and stress management.
The programme includes the following components in accordance with BACPR Standards and Core Components for Cardiac Rehabilitation
- Physical Activity & Exercise
- Diet and Weight Management
- Smoking Cessation
- Stress Management/Relaxation
- Education Risk factor management
- Long term management strategy
In three of our partnerships we also provide the Phase III element of Cardiac Rehabilitation with a Cardiac Nurse working from our consultation rooms, screening patients alongside our physical activity specialist team. This has provided a seamless referral pathway for patients.
Adult Weight Management Courses run for a ten week period and encompass both educational and physical activity components to promote healthy eating and an active lifestyle.
Courses are aimed primarily at patients with a BMI>28, but are also available to those with a BMI>25 who have little knowledge of healthy eating and would benefit from guidance. In addition to those clients referred to PARS solely for weight loss/obesity, clients who have other secondary medical conditions may also be signposted to the course as part of their health intervention.
GLL are currently commissioned to deliver the Tier 2 Weight management pathways within a number of partnerships and additionally support the provision of the Tier 3 Weight management courses with specialist physical activity provision.
Family Weight Management
GLL have had extensive experience of delivering Family weight management courses over the last eight years. As such, we have developed our own course which has drawn upon the considerable involvement of our teams who have learned from the successes and experiences of those who have taken part in courses previously.
The eight week course has been designed to provide families with a fun, informative and balanced approach to nutrition and physical activity. A graduate pathway is available for participants which supports weight loss for all members of a family.
Back pain is a very common condition and can affect adults of all ages. It is estimated that one in five people will visit their GP in any given year because of back pain. And 80% of adults will experience at least one episode of back pain at some time in their lives.
Chronic back pain is less common than acute back pain, but it is still very widespread. Chronic back pain is a very common cause of long-term disability (after arthritis). After stress, it is the leading cause of long-term work-related absence. A recent study found that one in every 10 people reported having some degree of chronic back pain.
The Better Health team working in partnership with local Physiotherapy teams have created a musculoskeletal course designed to give individuals tools and information to help them manage their condition over a ten week period. The classes take the form of group exercise, i.e. around 10 - 15 people under the supervision of a qualified exercise instructor and contain both physical activity and educational components to ensure that individuals have the ability in the long term to self manage where possible.
The range of exercises has been designed to strengthen muscles and improve posture. They include:
- aerobic activity – exercises designed to strengthen heart and lower blood pressure, such as jogging or swimming
- muscle strengthening
Falls Prevention Classes are attended primarily by vulnerable older people who have either had, or are at risk of, a serious fall. The participants generally have limited mobility, as well as compromised strength which often leads to social isolation.
The sessions are also open to clients from other referral routes, such as GPs or Physiotherapists & self referral. Various types of activity sessions such as Tai Chi, Pilates and exercise special classes (both studio and gym based) are available to complement the service and provide appropriate exit routes and may be subject to additional
The class users also experience secondary benefits from participating in Falls Prevention classes, which are designed primarily to improve mobility & health. These include:
- Social interaction
- Greater independence
- Feelings of confidence
- Expose to new activities, interests & services
- Reduced fear of injury
Alongside the Cardiac Rehabilitation course, the Better Health teams offer a support service to the Pulmonary Rehabilitation teams working within our Partnerships.
This programme helps individuals to learn how to breathe more easily and improve their quality of life. It includes breathing re-training, exercise training, education, and counselling.
Regular exercise has many benefits. Exercise, especially aerobic exercise, can:
- Improve your circulation and help the body better use oxygen.
- Improve your COPD symptoms
- Build energy levels so you can do more activities without becoming tired or short of breath
- Strengthen your heart and cardiovascular system
- Increase endurance
- Lower blood pressure
- Improve muscle tone and strength; improve balance and joint flexibility
- Strengthen bones
- Help reduce body fat and help you reach a healthy weight
- Help reduce stress, tension, anxiety, and depression
- Boost self-image and self-esteem; make you look fit and feel healthy
- Improve sleep
- Make you feel more relaxed and rested
A separate physical activity care pathway has been developed for those individuals who are identified as being ‘at risk’ of developing a medical condition through the NHS Health Checks Programme. This programme utilises the same protocols of the PARS but provides those referred with a higher degree of support and motivation from their instructors.
Participants are supported in their activity sessions through telephone contact and regular contacts. Weight Management courses are operated alongside to support those referred to this programme with a BMI in excess of 28.
As part of the NHS Smoking Cessation service, large numbers of our frontline staff have been trained to appropriately signpost individuals to local Smoking Cessation services, with many courses being hosted within our Centres. Pilot programmes are underway to deliver smoking cessation courses through the teams working at the Centres, looking at different methods of motivating individuals in their ‘quit’ attempt.
The most prevalent types of Cancer are those with relatively high incidence and good prognosis and every year many people receive successful treatment (BASES). However, even at the end of this treatment Cancer survivors can find themselves still facing many challenges including: recurrent cancer other chronic disease, fatigue, pain, depression, anxiety, lymphoedema, menopausal symptoms and impotence.
Evidence has suggested that physical activity can help to prevent or manage these conditions and as such, GLL is committed to delivering a programme to help cancer survivors. Teams delivering PARS are now qualified in Cancer Rehabilitation and linked to support programmes to ensure that an aligned care pathway exists for participants.
We are currently working with our partners locally to develop innovative programmes to impact the health of the local community. Initiatives include: Libraries for Health, a children’s referral programme, Diabetes, Mental Health, Parkinson’s and workplace health & fitness promotion. Programmes rely on a partnership approach and available resources.