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Independents' Day

Labour to make exercise on referral ‘first port of call’ for GPs

Labour will ensure that every GP is able to refer patients to an exercise on referral scheme, to ensure physical activity becomes the first option for treatment.

Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham said that he wanted to ‘hardwire’ social prescriptions into the NHS, with GPs ‘properly empowered’ to ensure that patients exercise more.

He made the announcement at the UKactive National Summit in London today, and repeated his pledge that if Labour are elected they will set a target of 50% of all adults taking the recommended amount of exercise by 2025.

He added that he wanted to regulate the levels of fat, salt and sugar in children’s food, and that he would make boosting physical activity the ‘priority for investment’.

Mr Burnham announced that a Labour government would ensure ‘we have exercise on prescription available in every GP practice in the country’.

He said: ‘This is hardwiring exercise on prescription as the very first port of call when patients go to see their GP.’

He added that patients were often taking multiple medicines – some more than 10 – because the pendulum of care had swung too far in favour of drugs.

Mr Burnham concluded: ‘GPs will see the power of what we are doing. Where we use exercise on referral it works and the evidence backs it up, so why are we not doing this every time?’

Readers' comments (11)

  • Amazing, why don't patients ensure 'patients exercise more' rather than blame us if they don't?
    Magic gyms and exercise classes, create sports fields and facilities out of thin air, and once the wand has been waved old Andy seemingly has found a way to replace meds for BP, IHD, DM, Ca etc with a simple step class. What a waste of time med school was, all we needed to learn was to tell patients to go for a swim or a brisk walk. Hey presto no need for the NHS at all, just a chain of gyms.

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  • What stupid pointless gumf. I laughed so much at this I have exercised myself.

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  • This tosh exists already in some area..somebody with severe arthritis was 'referred' to a gym.........fulles with smelly old equipment, loud ear shattering music and people there to build up their physique in questionable way. An hours 'training' no follow up and she made the healthy tell them to stuff it

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  • He's a politician..everything they say is empty and vacuous. A labour government will make you slim and sexy ...your GP will be responsible for organising your gym membership.

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  • Why do I have to get involved? Surely just make exercise available to all, WITHOUT seeing a GP . Can't I see ill people please ?

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  • we now have 6 months of vacuous posturing from all the politicians. If we told even 1/100 of the lies they do we would be struck off.
    How do we advise our patients to vote to ensure their future health? Tory 'sell it off' Labour 'give it to local politicians' Lib-dem 'errrrrr' UKIP 'privatise but don't let anyone know' MRLP 'outlaw ill health'
    NHAP 'embarrass real politicians and hope we don't get elected'

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  • last time I checked, people can go running and eating less without the aid of a fully qualified doctor.

    but then, our social values are so warped that there is little surprise here.

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  • Typical attitude and ideas from a socialist who thinks that humans exist to serve and be controlled by the socialist government. God preserve us from these despots

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  • Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahah
    *Breathe in*
    *Another breath*

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  • here is an idea- how about mps telling patients to take responsibility for eating less and moving more, we are already doing EOP anyway, is he really that dim?

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