Higher risk individuals living with a range of medical conditions (or at risk of developing them) are being supported to maintain their levels of physical activity and improve their health and wellbeing through telephone support.
It has set up the Better Health Telephone Support Service - with staff based at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The initiative is part of the national ‘Healthwise Physical Activity on Referral Service’ which Better has been part of since 2004. Presently, Better has 3,700 members on its Healthwise programme – each has been referred by a GP or clinician for a 12 week programme that includes physical activity, healthy eating, motivational and social support.
During lockdown, Better’s specialist health team are offering telephone support and online activity programmes to help participants remain physically active.
600 individuals in the Healthwise programme in Royal Greenwich and Healthier Together Hackney programme have already been contacted by call staff intending to support other Healthwise participants over the coming weeks across London as well as Belfast.
Many of these are in the most vulnerable groups and over 400 of them have a medical condition as well as being over the age of 70.
Vicki Hawkins, Better Regional Health Manager for London said:
“We know that large sections of the population are currently finding the time and motivation to be more physically active but certain groups are finding it more of a challenge.
“These are critical weeks and months for those who are in poor health – it’s very important that they are supported as this will ensure they have a better outcome.
“Our Better Health Telephone Support Service is reaching out to nearly 3,700 people to help them feel better during the current challenging period and beyond.”
During COVID-19, Healthwise programme also supports the local authority Community Hubs set up across the country - signposting to other local services or online resources including befriending, prescription delivery and mental health services.