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Story Homes back GP Referral Scheme

July 2012

l-r: Ian Storey (Projects Director, Story Homes) and Geoff Haugh (Health and Well-being Co-ordinator, Sands Leisure Centre)Geoff Haugh, Health and Well-being Co-ordinator at the Sands Leisure Centre in Carlisle has worked in the fitness industry for the past 27 years. He has been successfully co-ordinating the ‘GP Referral’ scheme for over four years. The scheme introduces exercise as a positive way to help with some medical conditions. Typically lasting for 12 weeks, the scheme is supervised by qualified staff to ensure the patient has a safe, effective and enjoyable start to a more active lifestyle.

Exercise can play a key role in assisting postoperative recovery, mobility, insomnia, back pain and weight loss, as well as improving self-esteem and fitness. In addition, research has proven that regular exercise can improve a broad range of physical and psychological medical conditions including angina, diabetes, arthritis, obesity, hypertension, asthma, anxiety and depression.

Geoff commented “We closely monitor the progress of anyone who is referred to the scheme throughout their 12-week course. At the end we review their progress and we are able to give further help and advice as to how to maintain the lifestyle changes in the long term. With great strain on the Health Service nationally, any scheme that can potentially help patients to rely less on drugs and give them a healthier, enjoyable lifestyle has to be encouraged.”

Story Homes has provided new uniforms for the scheme. Ian Storey, Projects Director at Story Homes added “Story Homes are supporting this initiative as we recognise how important it is that, with today’s busy and demanding lifestyles, people take time out to look after themselves and ensure their continued good health. This fits entirely with our ambitions to create strong and vibrant communities for people to live in.”

Geoff’s main role is to co-ordinate the EOR programme in Carlisle and West Cumbria, liaising with GP’s, Practice Managers, Practice Nurses, Physiotherapists and other health professionals. He oversees the fitness programmes that patients undertake and discusses with other fitness staff working for Carlisle Leisure Limited (CLL) the best route possible for those patients to ultimately live a more active and healthy lifestyle. He also manages the CLL Cardiac Rehabilitation programme in Carlisle, Cockermouth and Workington.