NICE guidance on exercise referral points to stronger evidence base needed for commissioning

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24 September 2014

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellent (NICE) today released its guidance for commissioners regarding exercise on referral schemes.

ukactive welcomes the document's reiteration of its support for groups which prioritise the promotion of an active population.

NICE recommends that local authority commissioners are only to commission new services which 'collect a minimum data set and make this available for analysis, monitoring and research to inform future practise.'

While the draft version had previously indicated that commissioners should not commission services 'for the sole purpose of getting people more active', this recommendation has been revised following response from ukactive and other bodies concerned about the implications that this may have.

The document is clear to commissioners that in future, condition-specific exercise on referral services will be the priority for local authorities.

This is aside from successful preventative models aimed at getting people more active, such as ukactive's Let's Get Moving pathway, which was cited in the NICE document as being a 'systematic approach' which should be used by primary care professionals.

ukactive welcomes NICE's call for stronger evaluation and data capture, with its own Research Institute leading the way on developing a standardised evidence base for physical activity interventions through its upcoming Promising Practice project.

ukactive Chief Executive David Stalker said:

"We are pleased that NICE has continued to recognise the importance of having a physically active population.

ukactive welcomes any initiative which drives forward the evidence base for physical activity and creates a better platform for local authorities and primary care professionals to invest in programmes which can deliver strong outcomes.

We want to see physical activity playing a bigger role in public health. 



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