London Borough of Lewisham Q&A

by Stuart Stokes on July 8, 2019

At ReferAll, we’re always keen to find out more about our customers. The London Borough of Lewisham has been using our online system since 2011.

In recent times this forward-thinking council has been focused on social impact via its Exercise on Referral (EOR) scheme. We spoke to Commissioning Manager, Iain McDiarmid to find out more...

In the short term, we are reviewing our approach across all types of physical activity: from free swimming for over 60s to cycle hire. When working with primary care, it’s essential changes aren’t carried out piecemeal, as they only serve as a distraction, hence our focus on doing this in the round.

We are also moving towards a more provider-led, outcome focussed approach: indicating what we want to achieve and enabling our providers to tell us how they will do this. ReferAll could potentially be instrumental, in terms of ‘how’.

I understand you’ve been working with two different providers for EOR. What challenges does this create in terms of data collection?

As an online solution, ReferAll is not just our system. It is also an interface between us and our primary care referrers and our leisure providers, who deliver the EOR programmes. Larger leisure providers often have staff working in a specific EOR role, whereas with smaller companies, the individual providing the data may be undertaking this as part of their wider role, possibly as a gym instructor. As a result, data collection and inputting isn’t always their core focus. This sometimes creates issues with data ‘integrity’: the types of data collected and the way in which data is entered into the system.

How does ReferAll’s online solution help?

In order to develop a greater depth of information, we need to encourage our leisure providers to input more data into ReferAll. It obviously takes time to educate our partners about the types of data we are interested in and the way they need to be inputted, so we are still in the early stages of this development.

We are always aiming to do more. We are now looking to source richer data about what happens to participants: how many people left after 5 sessions or 10 for instance.This helps us to work more intelligently with our leisure providers: If there is a drop off after 5 sessions, we need to do something different and then monitor our results to see if the changes create a tangible difference to the drop off rate. By working in this way, we aim to clearly define with our leisure partners what we need them to do. ReferAll will be a key resource to enable this.

Topics: Referral Schemes, Public Health Campaigns