The Better Health Team provide independently tailored opportunities for patients with existing medical conditions to be referred to a specifically designed physical activity programme, at an affordable rate – a programme designed to help them manage and improve their health.

Common reasons for referral:

High blood pressure

Obesity

Circulatory/respiratory diseases

Depression/anxiety

Arthritis

In addition to the main GP referral programme, our specialist programmes have been developed to meet the health needs of the local community. These programmes include:

Adult Weight Management Courses

Cardiac Phase III/IV Rehabilitation Classes

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Rehabilitation classes

To find out more information or to be referred on to this service, please speak to your Healthcare Professional. Alternatively you can contact the Healthwise team on: 07816 138 421 or email our Healthwise Department: healthwise.chilternsandsouthbucks@gll.org

Exercise Referral - Definition

Exercise referral schemes or more formally PARS (Physical Activity Referral Schemes), seek to increase someone's physical activity levels on the basis that physical activity has a range of positive health benefits. Based on NQAF guidelines (National Quality Assurance Framework), an exercise referral scheme will ordinarily consist of the following components:

  • An assessment involving a primary care or allied health professional to determine that someone is sedentary or inactive, and or because of their health status, they are not meeting current UK physical activity guidelines
  • A referral by a primary care or allied health professional to a physical activity specialist or service
  • A personal assessment involving a physical activity specialist or service to determine what programme of physical activity to recommend for their specific needs
  • An opportunity to participate in a physical activity programme

A participants' progress is often also reviewed at completion of the programme (considered ordinarily as being a 12 week intervention).

Better Balance – Falls Prevention

Local authorities often pay for a local Falls Prevention service for local residents. Initially managed by an NHS Falls Prevention Team, the service provides a vital pathway for those who have experienced a single recent fall or who have a history of multiple falls.

The service includes a highly skilled multifactorial team of advisers who are able to offer a range of information and expert advice for service users, their carers and families. Service users will usually receive advice, an in-depth assessment, and if suitable they will be offered the Better Balance exercise programme. The course is delivered in a variety of settings, including Better Leisure Centres and with instruction from highly trained postural stability instructors. Exercises are structured and progressed over a period of weeks and months (typically 36 weeks). The programme is offered in 2 key stages:

Level One

This introductory stage is normally funded and offered without charge by the Falls Prevention Team of the NHS. These first 12 weeks may include an educational component and refreshments as well as exercise.

Level Two

A further 24 weeks, of exercise only which aims to build on and consolidate the health gains and improvements attained during the initial 12 weeks. This 2nd level may include members of the community who have not attended level 1 but have been assessed as appropriate for Level 2.

Healthwise - Better Balance Outcomes:

  • Improvements in health and wellbeing and quality of life for those accessing the 24-week follow-on intervention.
  • Significant decrease in number of falls, and a reduction in long lays and A&E hospital admissions
  • Positive physiological and psychological changes in mobility and well-being for those who complete the scheme.
  • Successful engagement and monitoring with opportunities to refer back to the Falls and Bone Health Service if and when required
  • Positive feedback from patients regarding the benefits of the programme
  • Overall improvements to health
  • Increased confidence and continued independence
  • Opportunities for social engagement

Better Balance at level 2 from Healthwise helps with rehabilitation after an unfortunate fall and or aims to improve balance and strength preventing further falls.