ReferAll has created a software solution for leisure operators offering Exercise on Referral (EOR) in Suffolk. The tool forms the final part of Public Health Suffolk’s new EOR quality standards scheme, launched earlier this year.
The county-wide quality standard is the very first of its kind in the UK. It allows medical professionals to refer, safe in the knowledge that they’re referring to accredited facilities, which are successfully delivering programmes that have been rigorously tested using ‘real-world’ criteria.
EOR and social prescription specialist, ReferAll, was brought on board to provide Public Health Suffolk with an online software solution, enabling leisure operators to adopt a consistent and standardised approach to their EOR data collection.
Phil Lown is Partnership Programme Manager at Public Health Suffolk and responsible for implementing the new standard. In his commissioning and monitoring role, his aim is to create an online solution for the county that enables his team to assess the efficacy of EOR across all of Suffolk.
Lown says: “It’s well known that physical activity is a vital component of any successful exercise referral scheme, helping to improve both physical and mental health. However, the struggle is proving it’s efficacy in this respect. Standardising both our delivery and data was therefore crucial. Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and public health teams can’t access funding without tangible data to show how they save the NHS time and money.
“We needed to evaluate the consistency of our EOR data collection and assess what criteria and guidelines we required. Only then could these guidelines be put into practice, via our network of leisure operators, to monitor EOR outcomes and the efficacy.”
Lown continues: “ReferAll has created the final piece of the puzzle; the essential tool that helps us to stitch together the required data from all our EOR providers across the county. It has provided us with an online solution that consistently monitors and evaluates our data. This is no mean feat as we have 15 sites run by a mix of trusts, national operators and schools.”
Public Health Suffolk plans to examine the outcome data to truly understand its participants’ long-term physical activity habits and establish whether they stop exercising following the EOR programme’s completion.
Stuart Stokes, Commercial Director at Referral, says:
“Public Health Suffolk needed to better understand how its EOR currently works so leisure operators can then better understand how to sustain activity. Our bespoke online referral system provides the crucial link to prove that EOR schemes do engage inactive people to become active. By using tangible data and innovative reporting tools, this previously complex task becomes attainable.
“Suffolk has created a standard which other regions can foster. By understanding what criteria are needed and creating a model focused on consistency they have paved the way for others to do the same.”