Exercise on prescription axed

November 08 2016

DOCTORS in the Hanham area will no longer be able to prescribe free exercise to help inactive people manage health conditions.

DOCTORS in the Hanham area will no longer be able to prescribe  free exercise to help inactive people manage health conditions.

South Gloucestershire Council has scrapped the Exercise on Prescription scheme because of budget pressures.

The decision to drop it was taken at the Adults, Children & Health Committee after councillors were told that although the service had good initial short term results, there was no evidence that it resulted in a sustained longer term increase in physical activity for the majority of patients. 

A notice on the council website states: “The existing model of delivery and management of the service is no longer sustainable and we do not have the capacity to manage the volume of referrals.”

Responsibility for public health was transferred from the NHS to councils a few years ago.

Labour’s Councillor Gareth Manson said this meant public health was falling victim to austerity measures.

“South Gloucestershire’s Conservatives are not protecting the Public Health budgets, which will have been cut by 35 per cent since 2013. The popular Exercise on Prescription scheme is just the latest sorry casualty of Tory Government cuts and Tory Council decisions.”

The council’s Sport Pound programme, which provides vouchers for people returning to exercise, is not affected by the cut, as it is funded by Sport England.

South Gloucestershire Council has scrapped the Exercise on Prescription scheme because of budget pressures.

The decision to drop it was taken at the Adults, Children & Health Committee after councillors were told that although the service had good initial short term results, there was no evidence that it resulted in a sustained longer term increase in physical activity for the majority of patients. 

A notice on the council website states: “The existing model of delivery and management of the service is no longer sustainable and we do not have the capacity to manage the volume of referrals.”

Responsibility for public health was transferred from the NHS to councils a few years ago.

Labour’s Councillor Gareth Manson said this meant public health was falling victim to austerity measures.

“South Gloucestershire’s Conservatives are not protecting the Public Health budgets, which will have been cut by 35 per cent since 2013. The popular Exercise on Prescription scheme is just the latest sorry casualty of Tory Government cuts and Tory Council decisions.”

The council’s Sport Pound programme, which provides vouchers for people returning to exercise, is not affected by the cut, as it is funded by Sport England.