Sir Muir Gray: NHS must use fitness industry to deliver universal personalised care plan
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Sir Muir Gray: NHS must use fitness industry to deliver universal personalised care plan

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This offers the best opportunity we’ve had to link the NHS and the fitness world in a single therapeutic alliance

Veteran physician Sir Muir Gray has called on Health Secretary Matt Hancock to enlist the services of the fitness industry to help deliver NHS England’s new Universal Personalised Care strategy.

In an open letter published in Health Club Management, Sir Muir welcomes the government's commitment to personalised care, and states that the fitness industry, with its "many thousands of trained professionals", is ideally placed to undertake a significant aspect of the Government's plan: that of appointing a thousand "link workers" to deliver lifestyle support to people in need of health interventions outside of pharmacies, hospitals and mental health services.

The letter continued: "The fifteen million people in the UK who suffer from long term conditions need the skills, enthusiasm and resources of the fitness industry – co-ordinated by ukactive – to realise your vision of universal social prescribing."

Sir Muir's intervention comes against the backdrop of what is being termed the Third Healthcare Revolution – one in which there is a growing acceptance that activity can prevent many common diseases and transform their treatment.

"It's been agreed that the NHS needs to promote activity therapy alongside drug therapy, operative therapy and psychological therapy,” Sir Muir writes in HCM, arguing that activity should now be "prescribed like a drug", not simply as an instruction.

In closing, Sir Muir, who was knighted in 2005 for the development of the foetal, maternal and child screening programme and the creation of the National Library for Health, writes: "This offers the best opportunity we’ve had so far to link the NHS and the fitness world in a single therapeutic alliance, and we must work towards this goal with all possible haste to deliver on the Third Healthcare Revolution."

To read the entire interview, see the February 2019 issue of HCM or click here

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Veteran physician Sir Muir Gray has called on Health Secretary Matt Hancock to enlist the services of the fitness industry to help deliver NHS England's new Universal Personalised Care strategy.
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