Hertfordshire Sports Partnership introduces new Exercise on Referral scheme

by Admin on December 31, 2015

Award-winning Herts Sports Partnership (HSP) has introduced an exciting new Exercise on Referral scheme using ReferAll’s online software solution.

The scheme known as Active Herts project is coordinated by HSP and made possible with funding from Sport England, Herts Public Health and local Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs). Active Herts aims to target inactive people who are at risk of cardiovascular disease or mental health conditions by offering behaviour change support to help individuals get active. 

The three-year project, in collaboration with research partners, University of East Anglia Medical School, aims to evaluate whether the Exercise on Referral scheme will help participants to become more physically active over a twelve-month period.  Using bespoke questionnaires, which have been translated online by solutions provider ReferAll, the project will assess participant activity levels. Using ReferAll key data is captured at the start, three months, six months and twelve months into the scheme to indicate if and how the participants’ behaviour has changed.

Joe Capon, Project Officer for Active Herts, commented: “Initially we are focusing on areas of deprivation to help those most in need.  If, after three years, this project is successful we will look to roll it out county wide subject to funding being available.”

Active Herts started receiving referrals in November 2015 and with challenging targets to meet, in just two months has already recruited 100 participants.

Commenting on the new scheme, Capon said: “We are not a traditional gym-based Exercise on Referral scheme as we provide motivational interviewing and behaviour change techniques bespoke to the individual.  As a client centred service we aim to sign-post people onto existing community facilities, sport clubs and participation programmes based on their interests and motivations”.   

“When we began our research, we scanned the market for a solution which would allow us to accept referrals from a variety of GP practices and healthcare professionals. ReferAll’s system was recommended to us and we visited an organisation using the solutions to see how system’s capabilities could meet our requirements.”

ReferAll’s system is being using by the Active Herts project across four areas: Broxbourne, Hertsmere, Watford and Stevenage. 

Capon explained: “The main advantage of using ReferAll is that the referral pathway from the healthcare provider to the service deliverer is seamless as new referrals appear instantly on the system.  Using Refer-all’s software solution allows us to move and track the patient through each step of the their service.

“Without ReferAll, I simply don’t think it would be possible to run a project of this nature.  By using its two-way platform between us and referring organisations, both Active Herts and these organisations can see the progress of participants within the scheme enabling true transparency.”

ReferAll also provided Active Herts with an integrated and automated text service, which sends SMS messages to participants to remind them about their assessments as well as supplying motivational messages.

He concluded: “ReferAll’s system enables us to produce multi level reports for each referring practice, Clinical Commissioning Groups, our steering group and also for our funders. By using this reporting system we can not only provide regular organisational and operational data but also, ultimately, assess the success of the programme long term.”