Connecting Devon’s Communities with Physical Activity, Health and Care Networks

Within our Movement for Health and Wellbeing, we’re working on connecting Devon’s communities with physical activity, health and care networks.

Read more about how we are building closer community connections with primary care networks, social prescribers and physical activity providers for improved health and wellbeing outcomes.

Supporting Our Health and Care Co-Workers Across Devon’s NHS and Care System

As we’ve been developing our work in the area of health and wellbeing, we’ve noticed that evidence for physical activity improving health outcomes is becoming more understood and valued by health and care.

Equally we recognise that there is always more to do in supporting our co-workers across Devon’s NHS and Care system.

More than ever, we’re discussing the role of physical activity in supporting patients. This is through our interactions with GPs, hospital consultants, nurses, social prescribers and social care workers. As well as commissioners, health managers, mental health workers, physiotherapists, public health leads and midwives.

Our Active Devon Board also reflects the value we place in this area of work as we have a GP, health research specialist and Director of Public Health as valued Board members.

Alongside this our steering groups, such as Connecting Actively to Nature, have been chaired by a GP. Plus, the physical activity training we facilitate is led by a number of clinical champions, which include a physiotherapist and a diabetes nurse specialist.

Greater Connections with Our Communities is Vital Towards Making a Real Difference

However, this is only half the story. It is clear to us that understanding and valuing evidence is one step but bringing it into practice is the step that can make a real difference to local people. We believe this can only be achieved by greater connectivity with our communities and the valuable resources they bring.

We play a significant role in helping convene, facilitate and build trusted bridges between health and care with the many services that are provided across our community networks. This could be services delivered through local charities and social enterprises, or independent physical activity practitioners. Or our network of excellent leisure centre health and fitness teams and community facilities.

Across these community networks there are so many high-quality activity opportunities many of which are supervised. This can range from walking groups to rehabilitation support or from generalised physical activity on referral programmes to specific long-term condition interventions.

We think by building these connection loops across health and care systems into communities and back into health and care, whilst learning as we go, is key. This will help not only cement the foundations to a connected system through physical activity but begin to see and tell the stories of greater well-being across the whole of Devon.

Be Part of the Conversation

If you work within the physical activity, health or care networks and would like to discuss any of the above in more detail, then please contact the Health and Wellbeing team.

You can also stay connected with us and receive regular updates by joining the physical activity providers network and subscribing to our Active for Good newsletter. Further detail can be found on our Physical Activity Providers Hub page, along with a range of useful resources, toolkits and guidance.