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Michelle’s The GP Exercise Referral Programme

The GP Exercise Referral Programme, a physcial activity initiative to help adults get active, is now up and running in Leitrim with Michelle Fanning. General Practitioners have been recruited by the HSE’s Health Promotion Service and patients are now being directly referred from their GPs to local leisure facilities as part of the Exercise Referral Programme. Leitrim’s GP Exercise Referral Programme co-ordinator Michelle Fanning, has outlined the benefits of the initiative.
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“The benefits are proven in terms of people becoming more active. This scheme reduces the risk of getting heart disease and diabetes. For those with diabetes it can mean that it is controlled a little bit better.” “This is a different approach to looking after people with lifestyle related health problems. The GP Exercise Referral Programme can only do good and will be a support to people becoming more active, Michelle added. Liz Martin, Health Promotion Officer, HSE West, is one of the organisers of the programme in the North West. ”

Each patient is referred to a qualified local co-ordinator who guides them through a 12-week physcial activity programme. The local coordinator offers behaviour change intervention, specialist advice about physical activity and disease, as well as motivational support,” she explained. Each patient is provided with an activity programme individually tailored for them that can be home, community or leisure facility based, or a combination of all three. The patient does not have to attend the leisure facility for activity sessions, if they do not wish to. Patients referred by their GPs pay for three assessments over the 12 week programme. (€50 for all three assessments). By the end of the 12 weeks, the patient has developed the skills to independently maintain a physically active lifestyle. To ensure patient safety and the effectiveness of the programme, leisure professionals are required to obtain the ‘Local Co-Ordinator Certificate‘ awarded through successful completion of the GP Exercise Referral National Training Course. This course is the only qualification recognised by the HSE, Irish College of General Practitioners and ILAM, the Institute of Leisure and Amenity Management, and is compulsory for anyone wishing to deliver the programme. Marie Prior was referred by her GP to her local co-ordinator, Michelle Fanning, who is based in Dr Burkes Surgery Ballinamore, Co Leitrim she had a very positive experience of the programme. ” I have found the programme hugely encouraging, and my coordinator Michelle Fanning is always motivated and committed to help me achieve my goals. My friends and I have joined Michelle’s fitness classes and we find it more than just a workout, its fun and social too. Michelle’s down to earth approach helped me release that exercise can be fun and I weekly look forward to attending her exercise sessions. I have more energy and I really enjoy my daily walks and my grandchildren are having great fun joining in while I am doing the home exercises Michelle showed me. Marie said her co-ordinator had been very supportive and understanding on all levels. ” I have learned to be more aware of the amount of exercise I take, learning to make time for it and prioritise it in my weekly routine,” she added. I would advise anyone who isn’t exercising to ask their GP to be referred. The benefits are immense,” she said. Up to forty-one percent of Irish people are sedentary and this new programme specifically targets these people. The Health Promotion team is responsible for GP recruitment, ongoing support to the local GPs and co-ordinators, as well as the provision of promotional packs and GP referral resources, she said. “Being physically active is one of the most important steps people of all ages can take to improve their health. If you are currently inactive and would like support in becoming more active, then ask your GP to refer you to one of the six local GP exercise referral co-ordinators,” Liz encouraged people.

Personal Details

Firstname Michelle
Surname Fanning
Address: Ardrum
Ballinamore
Co. Leitrim
Email Address michelle.assortedfitness@gmail.com
Phone Number: 071 9644371
Mobile 087 9390980

 

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Ballinamore, Co Leitrim
Phone: (087) 939 0980
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