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Exercise Referral Scheme Scrapped

Thursday January 17 2013

A SCHEME which has helped thousands of people with serious health issues get more exercise is being scrapped, health bosses have announced. 

NHS Barnsley has announced it will stop funding the exercise referral scheme - for patients suffering from diabetes, heart problems - from the end of March, even though more than 6,000 locals have been helped by the scheme.

The scheme is run at the Metrodome, Hoyland, Royston and Dearnside Leisure Centres and the Dorothy Hyman Stadium, in Cudworth.

Patients are referred by their GP, but GPs were told not to refer patients after January 1 because patients would not have time to complete the ten week course before the funding ended.

Tim Wilson, Chief Executive of BPL said they were informed in December that funding would cease.

He added: "BPL are saddened by the loss of funding. We have received some outstanding feedback about the service and we are extremely proud of the success the scheme has achieved."

A spokesman for NHS Barnsley said: “This exercise referral scheme was commissioned by NHS Barnsley in autumn 2011 as just one of a wide range of other services that work with local people to support them to manage their weight and their health conditions. This particular service was only contracted for 18 months' duration and therefore is due to come to an end on March 31."

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Reply Posted by Mick on Thursday January 17 2013 at 13:54
I'm surprised a compromise could not have been found to keep this service running at a reduced cost. BPL could run it at minimal cost. Apart from the initial short induction there is no real cost to them in having an extra person in the pool or gym. They also generate business for themselves by selling memberships to people who have completed the free sessions.

Reply Posted by Ged on Thursday January 17 2013 at 17:10
That's sad, anyone recovering from open-heart surgery or other major op needs supervised exercise. It gives patients the extra confidence knowing someone is there if they overdo it. I was referred to Dorothy Hyman which was excellent in all aspects. What will replace this scheme? Surely a 10 patient to 1 physio ratio is more cost effective than the 1 to 1 at the hospital. Hope their jobs are safe.

Reply Posted by christine lee on Friday January 18 2013 at 16:10
I had the pleasure of going to dorothy hyman for 8 weeks,and it was marvelous,,the intense work that the staff put into it was beyond words,,,i am lucky to carry on with my excercises with peter scott in carlton twice a week ,health permitting ,as i suffer with Copd,would not be able to cope without the help i recieve,from him and his staff.,I think its wrong to take this away from so many people,,and i hope the powers that be have a heart and change their minds.

Reply Posted by Exercise Referral Service Focus Group on Friday January 18 2013 at 18:05
BPL have said they do not want the service to stop and would look to work with partners. The staff employed for Exercise Referral have clinical training to deal with specific health conditions and do much more than just one induction, they support the patient throughout. We have set up a Facebook group to try and save this valuable service. If you have benefited from the service please go on there and share your story. There is also an online petition. We hope that someone can come forward who sees that the funding required for ERS is relatively small compared to the benefits to people with a wide range of conditions, even cancer. Find us at www.facebook.com/saveBarnsleyERS thanks for any support

Reply Posted by christine lee on Saturday January 19 2013 at 13:21
have tried to get on to the page at www.but it is saying that there is no such thing,,,can you help me any other way please,,have tried 2 or 3 times but getting nowhere.thankyou,as i feel very strongly,about what is happening .

Reply Posted by Jayne on Sunday January 20 2013 at 19:06
No ged am sad to say all 7 staff will loose there jobs. May I just also point out 7 of the most qualified staff at Bpl. It will be a real shame for the people of this town if you take away there right to exercise themselves well and lead a healthier lifestyle.

Reply Posted by Jayne on Sunday January 20 2013 at 19:13
Can I just say to NHS Barnsley. Shut up talking utter crap. We are not stupid we know you are cutting this scheme to say ooh look at us we have saved this much money. Please don't belittle this town. Man up and tell the truth

Reply Posted by aynon on Sunday January 20 2013 at 21:41
NHS Barnsley or BPL ought to try applying to national lottery good causes for funding. Some of the awards they make are massive including loads to the council, and this seems a worthy cause as many that have been successful.

Reply Posted by Sarah Hammerton on Monday January 21 2013 at 09:50
Yes once again let's cut the funding to health promotion and public health awareness to save a bit of money here and there. We will just wait until half of BArnsley develops type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, joint pain and all the rest of the chronic conditions related to obesity and then we can spend £500 A DAY... (AND THIS DOES NOT INCLUDE CATERING, NURSES, DOCTORS, OT, PHYSIO AND SOCIAL WORKERS) On treating them then.