GET HCM
magazine
Sign up for the FREE digital edition of HCM magazine and also get the HCM ezine and breaking news email alerts.
Not right now, thanksclose this window
FIBO Exhibition
FIBO Exhibition
FIBO Exhibition
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

Follow Health Club Management on Twitter Like Health Club Management on Facebook Join the discussion with Health Club Management on LinkedIn Follow Health Club Management on Instagram
UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Get the latest news, jobs and features in your inbox
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

Exercise and the QOF

What does it mean now that physical activity has been taken off the QOF, just one year after being added – and how can we get it reinstated?

By Kath Hudson | Published in Health Club Management 2014 issue 4

The fitness industry was jubilant a year ago when exercise was added to the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) – a voluntary scheme that rewards GPs for patient care – for the treatment of hypertension. The hope was that it would be the first step towards greater collaboration between the healthcare and fitness sectors, with physical activity embedded across a wider range of indicators for the management of chronic conditions (see HCM Jan 14, p5).

But after just one year, it’s been dropped in a dramatic slimming down of the QOF, which has seen QOF’s scope cut by a third. Just as we thought we were making headway in putting exercise on the radar of GPs who haven’t bought into it yet, it’s off the agenda again.

So what’s the reason for these cuts? Are there questions about the validity of physical activity as treatment for medical conditions, or does the issue lie with QOF itself – is it a dying tool? Physical activity is, after all, just one of many indicators to be removed this month, suggesting it’s less a reflection on the benefits of exercise and more about the QOF not working that well in general.

And might the whole thing be a political move? Last year, the Secretary of State wanted lots of indicators added; this year, following protest from GPs that they feel governed by tick boxes, a knife has been taken to QOF. GPs have also been given more freedom and new payment arrangements in return for longer opening hours and various other service enhancements.

According to ukactive, the take-up of the physical activity indicator within QOF was disappointingly low – it was deemed to be more hassle than it was worth financially and not seen by GPs as a priority area of focus. Would this change even if it were reinstated?

Either way, it’s still vital that we work to forge links with the healthcare sector and convince GPs that, whether exercise is on the QOF or not, they should be recommending it to patients. So what next? We ask the experts...

Stephen Wilson,

Public Affairs Director ,

ukactive

Stephen Wilson
Stephen Wilson

“If the UK physical activity sector is to become a crucial part of the public health machine, we have to improve and expand our research and delivery of cost-effective, evidence-based programmes that work in a real world setting. We also have to show that a health professional prescribing physical activity is offering a tangible benefit to improving the health of the nation.

The problem goes deeper and beyond the QOF. The real issue that needs to be challenged is that health professionals receive almost no training on the physiological and psychological benefits of physical activity, or its role in preventing, managing and treating chronic illnesses. It’s unreasonable to expect any significant use of exercise in primary care without such training. To become a health delivery partner to the medical community, we must continue to establish the evidence base for exercise as a health tool and demonstrate that it can be applied and prescribed by GPs.

Improving the training of primary care professionals and making evidence-based interventions available must be the next steps. ukactive is also working with key partners such as Public Health England to raise awareness of the health benefits of physical activity, and the negative impact of inactivity.”

Professor Colin Hunter,

Chair of QOF advisory committee ,

NICE

Professor Colin Hunter
Professor Colin Hunter

“There’s a rigorous testing process for anything to go onto the QOF, and it must be based on good evidence. Physical activity passed all of the criteria and has a good evidence base; its removal was based on the need to reduce the size of the QOF. Last year, lots of indicators were added; this year, the negotiators decided to remove one-third, because GPs reported the QOF was too burdensome and they felt managed by tick boxes.

I don’t think there’s any doubt among GPs that physical activity is positive, both mentally and physically, for most of the population. The doubt lays in how effective their own intervention would be on the patient, given that they only have a 10-minute consultation. However, many GPs and practice nurses are still recommending exercise, along with eating healthily, drinking less and stopping smoking.

Physical activity was included on the QOF for a relatively small subset of hypertension sufferers, so I suspect that the impact of its inclusion and removal will be fairly minimal.

Going forward, the fitness industry needs to be aware that much of the UK’s inactivity is a result of social inequality – many exercise initiatives currently exclude the most needy, and this needs to be addressed.”

Dr Telesilla Wardle,

GP,

London-based surgery

Dr Telesilla Wardle
Dr Telesilla Wardle

“Having always exercised, I’m a strong believer that exercise is medicine. I’ve been instrumental in setting up an exercise group in my locality, to which I refer my patients who have complex musculoskeletal and cardiovascular problems that require expertly guided aerobic activity.

As GPs we can advise, but we can’t make people take their medication, exercise or eat properly. This doesn’t give us the excuse not to keep trying though. I believe GPs who don’t like to prescribe exercise are often those who don’t lead healthy lifestyles themselves and haven’t invested in the benefits of exercise.

Taking physical activity off the QOF will negatively impact patients. The trial period was too limited to produce any statistically significant data, but this doesn’t deny its value.

For the Department of Health to continue using exercise as an indicator that contributes to health, I think the fitness industry needs to become less frightening to body-conscious people, as well as more approachable financially. I think it would also be helpful if the fitness industry were to strike up relationships with GP practices to help set up cheap, entry-level exercise in the community, similar to the one I’ve helped to establish in Haringey.”

Dean Hodgkin,

Consultant,

Ragdale Hall & énergie

Dean Hodgkin
Dean Hodgkin

“Within the fitness sector, we’re well aware that research shows exercise is a viable alternative to prescription drugs as a mode of treatment for many life-threatening health conditions, but this isn’t common knowledge among health practitioners, let alone the man and woman on the street. Including it within the QOF conveyed its importance as an effective intervention, both to GPs and to the public at large.

There’s no question that healthcare professionals, in some quarters, still require convincing of the value of exercise as an intervention so, as an industry, we must push for the proliferation of evidence-based studies.

Maybe their concerns centre around the integrity of our industry and our ability to deliver on our promise, so we must continue to drive the aspiration for high levels of service. A meaningful long-term partnership with the health sector can only exist if we can guarantee, at every point of contact, a quality exercise experience with understanding of, and appropriate advice for, members who present with health conditions. Operators and individuals must commit to ongoing training to upskill front-line staff, ensuring they’re comfortable in dealing with all health issues they might encounter.”

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/HCM2014_4talking.gif
What does it mean now that physical activity has been taken off the QOF, and can it be reinstated?
People
FIBO 2020 will set a new benchmark, ensuring virtual and live trade fairs evolve into a hybrid model, defining a future-oriented format that opens a new chapter in the trade fair industry
People
The real novelty of AWRC is the way it brings together a mix of academic disciplines with external agencies and communities
People
I’m Confident we can deliver 50 coach gyms in the uk, however, I feel the opportunity is really much larger
Features
feature
A study in the US found that restaurant attendance was the only factor which correlated with testing positive for the virus
Features
Talking Point
Some of those who’ve suffered from COVID-19 face a long road to recovery. What role can the health and fitness industry play in supporting them with their rehabilitation? Kath Hudson reports
Features
Special Report
World United is a brand new global campaign designed to help clubs reactivate paused members, attract new ones and celebrate the return of fitness. HCM gets a briefing from Jak Phillips
Features
Editor's letter
Lockdown was tough, but reopening has brought a new raft of challenges and opportunities, as gyms fight to be seen as powerful delivery partners in the fight against COVID-19, while also being safe for consumers
Features
Supplier showcase
Safe Space has created a new locker space for global franchise, UFC GYM, which both maintains its brand image and delivers operational support
Features
Research
Older men who play football regularly have cells ‘younger’ than those of their inactive peers, according to new research from sports scientists in Denmark and Germany
Features
Functional
Suppliers are offering programming for rigs to enable operators to tackle social distancing challenges, create a boutique feel and reduce the intimidation factor. HCM gets the lowdown from key suppliers
Features
Latest News
Hundreds of thousands of small companies in the UK – including those operating in fitness ...
Latest News
Boutique gym attendance and class bookings in some world regions have bounced back to around ...
Latest News
The government has further extended protection from rent enforcement activity until the end of the ...
Latest News
Town Sports International – which operates a raft of brands, including the New York Sports ...
Latest News
Wearable tech firm Formsense has secured a technology partnership with an inter-interdisciplinary team of researchers ...
Latest News
Les Mills has launched a trio of digital solutions to help fitness operators shift towards ...
Latest News
Sport England has launched the latest edition of the popular This Girl Can campaign, celebrating ...
Latest News
COVID-19 has changed the world as we know it – and the fitness industry with ...
Opinion
promotion
The pandemic has thrown a new focus on health, with sales of body composition analysis equipment at an all-time high, as InBody’s Francesca Cooper explains.
Opinion: Gyms add body composition analysis and health screening to their offering following pandemic
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Xn Leisure advises on virtual memberships and how operators can move memberships online
According to software solutions provider, Xn Leisure, the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 has made it more important than ever to pull out all the stops to keep members active and engaged and your profits healthy.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: The Virtual Revolution: Hutchison Technologies help operators motivate members
Hutchison Technologies virtual solutions are helping operators expand their virtual offering and get motivated members back into the club.
Video Gallery
Temple Gym - Nautilus Equipment
Core Health & Fitness
Temple Gym - Nautilus Equipment Read more
More videos:
Company profiles
Company profile: Focus Training
Focus Training is a leading provider of Active IQ and YMCA Awards certified Personal Trainer ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Proinsight Research Ltd
We take time at the outset to understand your unique customer journey. Then we work ...
Supplier Showcases
Supplier showcase - Ultimate locker install
Supplier Showcases
Supplier showcase - Positive feedback
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Design consultants
Zynk Design Consultants: Design consultants
Whole body cryotherapy
Art of Cryo: Whole body cryotherapy
Independent service & maintenance
Servicesport UK Limited: Independent service & maintenance
Fitness equipment
Healthcheck Services Ltd: Fitness equipment
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: Trade associations
Software
Volution.fit: Software
Red Light Therapy
 Red Light Rising: Red Light Therapy
Gym flooring
REGUPOL/Berleburger Schaumstoffwerk (BSW): Gym flooring
Property & Tenders
11 - 25 Union St, London SE1 1SD
Bankside Open Spaces Trust
Property & Tenders
Waltham Abbey, Essex
Lee Valley Regional Park Authority
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2020
Loews Coronado Bay Resort, Coronado, United States
Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2020
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
22-23 Sep 2020
Heythrop Park, United Kingdom
Diary dates
07 Oct 2020
Online, Singapore, Singapore
Diary dates
17-23 Oct 2020
Pinggu, Beijing, China
Diary dates
03-06 Nov 2020
Online,
Diary dates
27-28 Nov 2020
Athena, Leicester, United Kingdom
Diary dates
23-26 Feb 2021
IFEMA, Madrid, Spain
Diary dates
03-04 Mar 2021
NEC, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
03-06 Jun 2021
Expo Centre & Riviera di Rimini, Italy
Diary dates
16-17 Jun 2021
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates

features

Exercise and the QOF

What does it mean now that physical activity has been taken off the QOF, just one year after being added – and how can we get it reinstated?

By Kath Hudson | Published in Health Club Management 2014 issue 4

The fitness industry was jubilant a year ago when exercise was added to the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) – a voluntary scheme that rewards GPs for patient care – for the treatment of hypertension. The hope was that it would be the first step towards greater collaboration between the healthcare and fitness sectors, with physical activity embedded across a wider range of indicators for the management of chronic conditions (see HCM Jan 14, p5).

But after just one year, it’s been dropped in a dramatic slimming down of the QOF, which has seen QOF’s scope cut by a third. Just as we thought we were making headway in putting exercise on the radar of GPs who haven’t bought into it yet, it’s off the agenda again.

So what’s the reason for these cuts? Are there questions about the validity of physical activity as treatment for medical conditions, or does the issue lie with QOF itself – is it a dying tool? Physical activity is, after all, just one of many indicators to be removed this month, suggesting it’s less a reflection on the benefits of exercise and more about the QOF not working that well in general.

And might the whole thing be a political move? Last year, the Secretary of State wanted lots of indicators added; this year, following protest from GPs that they feel governed by tick boxes, a knife has been taken to QOF. GPs have also been given more freedom and new payment arrangements in return for longer opening hours and various other service enhancements.

According to ukactive, the take-up of the physical activity indicator within QOF was disappointingly low – it was deemed to be more hassle than it was worth financially and not seen by GPs as a priority area of focus. Would this change even if it were reinstated?

Either way, it’s still vital that we work to forge links with the healthcare sector and convince GPs that, whether exercise is on the QOF or not, they should be recommending it to patients. So what next? We ask the experts...

Stephen Wilson,

Public Affairs Director ,

ukactive

Stephen Wilson
Stephen Wilson

“If the UK physical activity sector is to become a crucial part of the public health machine, we have to improve and expand our research and delivery of cost-effective, evidence-based programmes that work in a real world setting. We also have to show that a health professional prescribing physical activity is offering a tangible benefit to improving the health of the nation.

The problem goes deeper and beyond the QOF. The real issue that needs to be challenged is that health professionals receive almost no training on the physiological and psychological benefits of physical activity, or its role in preventing, managing and treating chronic illnesses. It’s unreasonable to expect any significant use of exercise in primary care without such training. To become a health delivery partner to the medical community, we must continue to establish the evidence base for exercise as a health tool and demonstrate that it can be applied and prescribed by GPs.

Improving the training of primary care professionals and making evidence-based interventions available must be the next steps. ukactive is also working with key partners such as Public Health England to raise awareness of the health benefits of physical activity, and the negative impact of inactivity.”

Professor Colin Hunter,

Chair of QOF advisory committee ,

NICE

Professor Colin Hunter
Professor Colin Hunter

“There’s a rigorous testing process for anything to go onto the QOF, and it must be based on good evidence. Physical activity passed all of the criteria and has a good evidence base; its removal was based on the need to reduce the size of the QOF. Last year, lots of indicators were added; this year, the negotiators decided to remove one-third, because GPs reported the QOF was too burdensome and they felt managed by tick boxes.

I don’t think there’s any doubt among GPs that physical activity is positive, both mentally and physically, for most of the population. The doubt lays in how effective their own intervention would be on the patient, given that they only have a 10-minute consultation. However, many GPs and practice nurses are still recommending exercise, along with eating healthily, drinking less and stopping smoking.

Physical activity was included on the QOF for a relatively small subset of hypertension sufferers, so I suspect that the impact of its inclusion and removal will be fairly minimal.

Going forward, the fitness industry needs to be aware that much of the UK’s inactivity is a result of social inequality – many exercise initiatives currently exclude the most needy, and this needs to be addressed.”

Dr Telesilla Wardle,

GP,

London-based surgery

Dr Telesilla Wardle
Dr Telesilla Wardle

“Having always exercised, I’m a strong believer that exercise is medicine. I’ve been instrumental in setting up an exercise group in my locality, to which I refer my patients who have complex musculoskeletal and cardiovascular problems that require expertly guided aerobic activity.

As GPs we can advise, but we can’t make people take their medication, exercise or eat properly. This doesn’t give us the excuse not to keep trying though. I believe GPs who don’t like to prescribe exercise are often those who don’t lead healthy lifestyles themselves and haven’t invested in the benefits of exercise.

Taking physical activity off the QOF will negatively impact patients. The trial period was too limited to produce any statistically significant data, but this doesn’t deny its value.

For the Department of Health to continue using exercise as an indicator that contributes to health, I think the fitness industry needs to become less frightening to body-conscious people, as well as more approachable financially. I think it would also be helpful if the fitness industry were to strike up relationships with GP practices to help set up cheap, entry-level exercise in the community, similar to the one I’ve helped to establish in Haringey.”

Dean Hodgkin,

Consultant,

Ragdale Hall & énergie

Dean Hodgkin
Dean Hodgkin

“Within the fitness sector, we’re well aware that research shows exercise is a viable alternative to prescription drugs as a mode of treatment for many life-threatening health conditions, but this isn’t common knowledge among health practitioners, let alone the man and woman on the street. Including it within the QOF conveyed its importance as an effective intervention, both to GPs and to the public at large.

There’s no question that healthcare professionals, in some quarters, still require convincing of the value of exercise as an intervention so, as an industry, we must push for the proliferation of evidence-based studies.

Maybe their concerns centre around the integrity of our industry and our ability to deliver on our promise, so we must continue to drive the aspiration for high levels of service. A meaningful long-term partnership with the health sector can only exist if we can guarantee, at every point of contact, a quality exercise experience with understanding of, and appropriate advice for, members who present with health conditions. Operators and individuals must commit to ongoing training to upskill front-line staff, ensuring they’re comfortable in dealing with all health issues they might encounter.”

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/HCM2014_4talking.gif
What does it mean now that physical activity has been taken off the QOF, and can it be reinstated?
Latest News
Hundreds of thousands of small companies in the UK – including those operating in fitness ...
Latest News
Boutique gym attendance and class bookings in some world regions have bounced back to around ...
Latest News
The government has further extended protection from rent enforcement activity until the end of the ...
Latest News
Town Sports International – which operates a raft of brands, including the New York Sports ...
Latest News
Wearable tech firm Formsense has secured a technology partnership with an inter-interdisciplinary team of researchers ...
Latest News
Les Mills has launched a trio of digital solutions to help fitness operators shift towards ...
Latest News
Sport England has launched the latest edition of the popular This Girl Can campaign, celebrating ...
Latest News
COVID-19 has changed the world as we know it – and the fitness industry with ...
Latest News
PureGym has secured a £100m cash injection from shareholders to help deal with both the ...
Latest News
Organised fitness, sports and other leisure activities (including swimming) can continue despite the introduction of ...
Latest News
A study by researchers at Emory University in the US has shown how exercise can ...
Opinion
promotion
The pandemic has thrown a new focus on health, with sales of body composition analysis equipment at an all-time high, as InBody’s Francesca Cooper explains.
Opinion: Gyms add body composition analysis and health screening to their offering following pandemic
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Xn Leisure advises on virtual memberships and how operators can move memberships online
According to software solutions provider, Xn Leisure, the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 has made it more important than ever to pull out all the stops to keep members active and engaged and your profits healthy.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: The Virtual Revolution: Hutchison Technologies help operators motivate members
Hutchison Technologies virtual solutions are helping operators expand their virtual offering and get motivated members back into the club.
Video Gallery
Temple Gym - Nautilus Equipment
Core Health & Fitness
Temple Gym - Nautilus Equipment Read more
More videos:
Company profiles
Company profile: Focus Training
Focus Training is a leading provider of Active IQ and YMCA Awards certified Personal Trainer ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Proinsight Research Ltd
We take time at the outset to understand your unique customer journey. Then we work ...
Supplier Showcases
Supplier showcase - Ultimate locker install
Supplier Showcases
Supplier showcase - Positive feedback
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Design consultants
Zynk Design Consultants: Design consultants
Whole body cryotherapy
Art of Cryo: Whole body cryotherapy
Independent service & maintenance
Servicesport UK Limited: Independent service & maintenance
Fitness equipment
Healthcheck Services Ltd: Fitness equipment
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: Trade associations
Software
Volution.fit: Software
Red Light Therapy
 Red Light Rising: Red Light Therapy
Gym flooring
REGUPOL/Berleburger Schaumstoffwerk (BSW): Gym flooring
Property & Tenders
11 - 25 Union St, London SE1 1SD
Bankside Open Spaces Trust
Property & Tenders
Waltham Abbey, Essex
Lee Valley Regional Park Authority
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2020
Loews Coronado Bay Resort, Coronado, United States
Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2020
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
22-23 Sep 2020
Heythrop Park, United Kingdom
Diary dates
07 Oct 2020
Online, Singapore, Singapore
Diary dates
17-23 Oct 2020
Pinggu, Beijing, China
Diary dates
03-06 Nov 2020
Online,
Diary dates
27-28 Nov 2020
Athena, Leicester, United Kingdom
Diary dates
23-26 Feb 2021
IFEMA, Madrid, Spain
Diary dates
03-04 Mar 2021
NEC, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
03-06 Jun 2021
Expo Centre & Riviera di Rimini, Italy
Diary dates
16-17 Jun 2021
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
Search news, features & products:
Find a supplier:
FIBO Exhibition
FIBO Exhibition