Trailblazing pilot study sees musculoskeletal programme expand

ukactive’s pilot study to transform leisure centres, swimming pools, and gyms into musculoskeletal (MSK) health hubs has been expanded to 100 sites across the UK.

The pilot forms part of ukactive’s vision for leisure centres and gyms to play a greater role in supporting the NHS and social care services – demonstrating how the fitness and leisure sector can work together to reduce the burden on the healthcare system and reducing health inequalities by providing local, accessible, self-management options.

MSK conditions are the primary cause of disability among older adults, as more than 20m people in the UK experience related problems, such as arthritis, chronic pain, or a knee replacement. Figures show 70% of the NHS budget is spent on such preventable conditions, while lost mobility also forces many people to enter care homes early.

Launched across 15 sites in 2022, the pilot will show how the programme could reduce pressure on acute healthcare services in primary and secondary settings, by managing conditions in community settings which are more easily accessible. The MSK health hubs will provide exercise, rehabilitation and wellbeing support to help people maintain mobility, reduce pain, and improve the health of patients before and after surgery.

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