Following the invitation to tender which was issued in November, the Active Partnerships National Organisation (APNO) has appointed Move Consulting as its partner to help integrate physical activity pathways into health and care systems.
Thanks to funding from Sport England, APNO will work with Move Consulting, a specialist physical activity consultancy, on a 15-month project which will help people living with or at risk of long-term health conditions to become more active. The aim of the project is to outline the information, guidance, resources, and tools that will help improve access into community-based activity.
The Active Partnerships National Organisation sought a partner with an excellent understanding of the complexities and challenges across the physical activity and health and care sectors, and with a willingness to co-design methods of system change. Following a thorough assessment and interview process, it was clear that Move Consulting met these criteria.
Annie Holden, Strategic Health Lead for the Active Partnerships National Organisation, explains more: “Move Consulting has a proven track record in supporting initiatives to establish and enhance physical activity pathways which really strengthened their application for this tender. The team also has a clear understanding of the sector and the work that we do, having previously worked with Active Partnerships from across our network. It was also reassuring to see co-creation embedded throughout their plans, as this is extremely important to our network and our partners.
“We were also impressed with the work they have done recently with partners from across the sector to better understand the challenges faced by those tasked with providing and delivering physical activity opportunities and we know they will be able to draw on this work in the coming months.
“We are delighted to award this contract to Move Consulting and look forward to working closely with them to deliver a successful project to help the people that need the most support.”
Move Consulting is led by directors Elaine McNish and Craig Blain, who have a combined experience of more than 45 years in the physical activity sector, and both have previously held roles with a strong focus on supporting the least active people, especially those with health conditions, to become more active.
Elaine McNish, Director of Move Consulting, said: “We are excited to be working with the Active Partnerships network, Sport England and other national and local partners on this vital project. We are aiming to expand on current opportunities that have traditionally been delivered through exercise referral schemes, to broader physical activity pathways that integrate wider community-based provision. We look forward to learning from the expertise that exists within the Active Partnership network and wider partner organisations.
“Working together, we are seeking to create a framework which will empower health and care providers to sign-post or refer into structured, community-based activity and behaviour change support, which will ultimately help more people to move more often.”
Sport England has provided the funding to allow the Active Partnerships National Organisation to secure external support for this important piece of work, helping to continue the crucial collaboration between the two organisations, along with other key national partners, on integrating physical activity into health and care systems.
Tom Burton, Strategic Lead for Health and Wellbeing Policy at Sport England, said: “Supporting people with long-term health conditions to be more active is fundamental to our Uniting the Movement strategy. Physical activity has the potential to transform the future health of our nation and in doing so help relieve pressure on our health system.
"Effective physical activity pathways that provide personalised support for individuals in contact with the health system, delivered seamlessly, regardless of setting or audience, is essential. We're delighted that Move Consulting will provide the expertise to help us drive this work forwards, connecting with our delivery partners across the sector to create the framework and resources to implement robust physical activity pathways at a local level.”
Work on the project has already begun and the partners will now begin to action the implementation plan that has been agreed. A key element of this plan involves learning and co-creating solutions with the sector by engaging with local delivery partners, including Active Partnerships from across the network. National partners will also be involved in this co-design approach.
With this in mind, a number of communities of practice are set to be created and they will seek to validate insights shared on the challenges faced by the sector, as well as collaborating on the development of information, guidance, and resources to overcome the challenges of implementing physical activity pathways at a local level.
There will also be collaboration with academic partners to help uncover the latest relevant research. More information about the communities of practice and the academic support will be released soon.