Horizon Leisure Centres Relaunch Health Referral Scheme

Thousands of adults across Hampshire will benefit from the relaunch of Horizon Leisure Centres Health Referral Scheme, set to help people increase their physical activity levels and boost their wellbeing at a time when Primary Care is seeing significant and growing strain on services.

The 12-week scheme is run at Horizon’s Havant and Waterlooville leisure centres, and is supported by Havant Borough Council, the NHS, and Macmillan Cancer Support.

The main aim of the Health Referral Scheme is to improve the health and wellbeing of individuals by supporting their journey to become more active by providing a personalised activity plan and working with individuals to overcome barriers. In particular, the programme caters to those with long term health conditions, or those at risk of developing health conditions.

The relaunch of the Health Referral Scheme is part of the wider health and wellbeing strategy, which lays out Horizon Leisure Centres aim to support the local community in managing their health conditions and living healthier and happier lives.

Who Can Be Referred Onto The Health Referral Scheme?

There is extensive research supporting the benefits of exercise in helping manage many long-term conditions including diabetes, hypertension, arthritis, and lower back pain.

Most people with long-term health conditions will be accepted onto the Health Referral Scheme. These include asthma, arthritis, high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity, as well as depression, anxiety, osteoporosis and other conditions, including rehabilitation from Covid-19. The scheme has been designed to help individuals self-manage their condition more effectively and with more confidence.

Participants can be referred to the Health Referral Scheme by a GP or any healthcare professional, where prescribed physical activity can help to improve mobility, lower blood pressure, and reduce stress and anxiety – amongst many other benefits.

The scheme includes access to a qualified exercise referral instructor, who will work with individuals to provide a tailored and personalised activity plan, and a subsidised membership to access the leisure centre, including classes, swimming and gym facilities.

Horizon Leisure Centres Community Health and Wellbeing Manager, Emma George, commented: “We strongly believe that people should have the opportunity to be active regardless of their background, age, deprivation or health status. We know that people with long term health conditions are disadvantaged when it comes to physical activity and are twice as likely to be inactive compared to those without health conditions. This is why offering this service to our community is extremely important to us.

We want this service to be accessible to as many people as possible that would benefit from the scheme therefore to reduce financial barriers the scheme is heavily subsidised by Horizon Leisure Centres. We believe everyone should be able to access this support and we hope to empower people to take care of their health and wellbeing and improve their quality of life.

Our Health Referral Scheme will not only help local people across Havant and Waterlooville manage and control existing conditions, it is also a preventative measure to protect us from developing other co-morbidities.

Through the delivery of our Health Referral Scheme we are providing access to safe and supported exercise, using a person centred approach. The aim is to promote long-term behaviour change by creating a supportive environment which in turn, builds confidence in people with health conditions to become, and remain active, whilst simultaneously raising the
awareness of the benefits of physical activity.”

Thank you to teams within our local NHS trusts (Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, Solent NHS Trust, and Portsmouth Hospital University Trust), local Primary Care Networks, our Active Partnerships, and Energise Me for their support.

If you are interested in the health referral scheme, you can discuss the option with your healthcare professional or GP, who can then refer you to Horizon Leisure Centres, where you will be able to use a range of Horizon’s facilities with expert guidance and support.

More information about the scheme, and a downloadable referral form can be located on the Health Referral Scheme page.

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