Caerphilly County Borough Council, Gwent Healthcare NHS Trust
Caerphilly County Borough has the fourth lowest life expectancy, the third worst mental and physical health status, the highest levels of obesity and one of the highest levels of coronary heart disease in Wales. It is therefore a priority area for health-related initiatives.
Using Wanless funding through the Local Health Board, the local authority, Caerphilly County Borough Council and Gwent Healthcare NHS Trust set up a joint 'healthy hearts' programme, whereby GPs refer patients with coronary heart disease to exercise and education classes, and a walking scheme for those who would like to increase their levels of physical activity whilst accessing the countryside. The cost of the scheme, which includes cardiac rehabilitation specialist nurse input, is £60,000 a year.
The Exercise Specialist spends three days a week working in hospitals and community venues with the cardiac rehabilitation team, and two days a week with the Countryside and Landscape Section of Caerphilly County Borough Council, promoting and leading countryside walks and co-ordinating a network of trained walk leaders who lead regular weekly walks. The walking scheme targets five Community First areas in the Borough and is open to non-cardiac patients. In its first eight months of operation from September 2004, more than 400 individuals undertook approximately two thousand walks between them. In addition to leading the walks, the Exercise Specialist has developed new routes, trained 50 volunteers to become walk leaders, produced booklets and distributed three thousand leaflets about the scheme in community facilities such as GP surgeries, libraries and community centres. At the end of April 2007, there were 15 GPs and other health professionals locally who were referring patients to the scheme.
The key factors in the success of the initiative have been the partnership of the NHS Trust, the local authority and the Local Health Board, the provision of recurrent funding and a focus on building capacity by training volunteers.
Contact Name Brian Begg
Contact_Role Exercise Specialist
Welsh_Contact_Role Arbenigwr Ymarfer Corff
Contact Telephone 07788-547350
Contact Email email@example.com
Contact Address Gwent Healthcare Trust & Countryside and Landscape Section, Caerphilly County Borough Council, Pontllanfraith House, Pontllanfraith, Blackwood, NP12 2YW