Archives for April 10th, 2001

FITNESS AND HEALTH PROFESSIONALS JOIN UP TO PROMOTE HEALTHY LIFESTYLE

Headlines, PublicNet: 10 April, 2001

Keeping healthy and recovering from illness is as much about fitness as popping pills. The three hundred exercise referral schemes up and running around the country will be improved and new projects will be developed as a result of new national standards for exercise referral by GPs. Exercise on prescription has proved particularly valuable for coronary heart disease, hypertension, obesity, diabetes and mental health problems, including depression. The National Quality Assurance Framework was commissioned by the Department of Health and written by representatives of the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences and Exercise England.The framework covers services for patients referred by their GP or practice nurse to supervised exercise programmes usually delivered through gyms and local leisure centres. GPs, primary care nurses and registered fitness professionals will now be able to offer high-quality supervised exercise referral programmes to all patients who will benefit from them. The new national standards will help to identify patients for referral and the right scheme for them to be referred to, clarifying responsibility of clinicians and qualified registered fitness professionals and assisting NHS trusts to incorporate exercise as part of a cardiac referral programme.

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NEW BOOST FOR TREND TOWARDS BOTTOM UP MANAGEMENT

Headlines, PublicNet: 10 April, 2001

Local crime and disorder partnerships are to be given 220m pounds over three years to disrupt local drug markets and drug-related crime. This is the latest development in the move towards relaxing the grip of Whitehall and pushing responsibility for responding to complex issues down to the community level. The Communities Against Drugs package, which is backed by Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, will target resources at those areas that need it most, reducing crime, creating safer neighbourhoods and giving young people a positive alternative to drug misuse. The new funding will be used to provide high visibility policing of drug hotspots, increase the number of neighbourhood wardens, and give support to parents and residents groups. There will also be funds to improve security including CCTV and street lighting and to provide for extra truancy sweeps.Another example of the trend to delegate to the local level was the recent invitation to some 80 areas of the UK to become one of the 15 pathfinders in Neighbourhood Management. The National Strategy for Neighbourhood Renewal provides for core services to be managed at local level and the pathfinders will test new approaches to delivering regeneration through bottom-up Neighbourhood Management.

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