Broadly Active, Broadland District Council’s Exercise on Referral (EOR) programme, is expanding its service across three districts.
From January 2019 the forward-thinking authority, which started its own EOR scheme in 2005, will also encompass both North and South Norfolk districts. The Broadly Active programme, which began as a joint project with the local Primary Care Trust (PCT), is now supported by local Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) with core funding from the local authority. Broadland District Council will be working with its neighbouring authorities and existing local providers to offer the expanded service.
Health and Wellbeing Officer, Dan Goodwin explained: “We deliver community-based programmes to help people become more active and prevent health deterioration. Crucial to our success has been our work as a conduit, not only providing sessions but also helping to set up independent ones too. In essence, we want our communities to become self-reliant and more resilient.”
Reduction in social isolation is of particular interest. Broadland and its surrounding areas are rural with a high proportion of older people. Without interaction, sedentary behaviour and isolation may become habitual.
"By keeping people confident and happy and interacting with others, we sustain their mental wellbeing as well as physical,” he continued. “These community-based activities also support local charity work which, in turn, helps to facilitate neighbourhood cohesion and growth.”
Helping Broadland to facilitate its expansion is EOR software and public health specialists ReferAll. Commercial Director Stuart Stokes, said: “The number of community sessions and locations, alongside its paper-based system was becoming problematic. They needed a smoother system, particularly given the rapid expansion in January.”
Goodwin added: “We needed a system to fit our needs, so instructors could work remotely inputting information into the system. ReferAll has a background in EOR so they truly understand the processes involved and have provided phenomenal support all the way through. Their system is intuitive and is already saving us so much time, which means we can spend more time helping people in our community.”