Department of Health written question – answered on 17th November 2015.

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Photo of Alex Cunningham Alex Cunningham Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps he plans to take to fully integrate physical activity into the care pathways of all long-term conditions where it has a proven beneficial effect.

Photo of Jane Ellison Jane Ellison The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published various pieces of guidance covering long-term conditions, and this guidance promotes physical activity where is it shown to have a beneficial effect.

In addition to this, Public Health England (PHE) has highlighted the important role of physical activity in the prevention, treatment and management of many long-term conditions in Everybody Active Every Day, a national evidence-based framework for action to reduce inactivity in England launched in 2014.

Since then there has been sustained action to support the integration of physical activity into clinical practice.

This has included:

- The launch of a new set of teaching resources designed to integrating into the curriculum on physical activity for medical, nursing and allied health professional university departments. To date these have been taken up by 15 United Kingdom medical schools, 4 UK Schools of Health (dietetics/physio/OT and AHPs) and 5 international schools of Allied Health Professionals;

- The launch of a series of nine e-learning modules on physical activity in the treatment and prevention of long term conditions on the BMJ E-learning platform alongside e-learning on Motivational interviewing techniques, funded by PHE;

- The launch of a new info-graphic to support healthcare professionals to understand and put into practice the Chief Medical Officer’s guidelines on physical activity for adults, a further graphic is in development to support the guidelines for children and young people;

- An expanded pilot of the general practitioner clinical champion programme by PHE;

- Continued work with the Richmond group of charities who are building on the work of Macmillan and Breakthrough Breast Cancer to support integration of physical activity into clinical practice and care pathways and also raise the understanding amongst the third sector and wider communities of its important role; and

- Continued work with the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, Chartered Institute of Physiotherapists and other professional bodies to raise the awareness across the profession, and ensuring that physical activity is considered as a key part of the Making Every Contact Count approach across health and social care.

Further work is being considered for 2016/17 around how better to support the commissioning of evidence-based exercise referral programmes for specific conditions as recommended by NICE.

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