14 Apr 2024 World leisure: news, training & property
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Health Club Management
2023 issue 11

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Leisure Management - Ryan Martin

HCM People

Ryan Martin

The software enables us to demonstrate the impact exercise is having on participants’ physical and mental health to stakeholders

Ryan Martin says the new referral system is ‘a game changer’ photo: Edinburgh Leisure
The team is trained to give people the support they need photo: Edinburgh Leisure
‘Steady Steps’ supports those at risk of a fall photo: Edinburgh Leisure
The team was previously manually inputting data, but this now happens automatically photo: Edinburgh Leisure
Daily tracking makes it easy to follow up with participants photo: Edinburgh Leisure

You’re working with ReferAll on your health and wellbeing referrals. Tell us more...
Edinburgh Leisure operates more than 50 venues across the city and is now using ReferAll’s data management platform to administer its Active Communities schemes. These deliver health and wellbeing referrals through 18 projects city-wide, which have been designed to break down barriers to physical activity.

In addition, Edinburgh Leisure has taken the lead in implementing ReferAll’s new integration with Gladstone Software. This means all individuals can be tracked on Gladstone Software from the point of receiving their referral to Active Communities, right through to membership and beyond.

What’s the scale of the initiative?
We currently support more than 10,000 people affected by health conditions, disabilities, inequalities and poverty to get active and stay active every year. The people of Edinburgh are facing numerous health challenges – 65 per cent of the population is overweight, one in four people will experience mental health issues in any one year and a third of people live with long term health conditions. In total, 20 per cent of households in Edinburgh are living in poverty.

What kind of programmes are you delivering?
Projects such as ‘Healthy Active Minds’ – which uses physical activity to support adults living with mental health conditions – and ‘Steady Steps’, supporting adults who have had, or may be at risk of, a fall, are just some of the 22 schemes Edinburgh Leisure currently runs.

‘Movement for Memories’ supports older adults with dementia, while ‘You Can’ and ‘Jump In’ swim lessons are aimed at children and young people and ‘Be Strong Be You’ uses the power of physical activity to improve the physical and mental wellbeing of young people experiencing mental health conditions.

Edinburgh Leisure’s Active Communities team members are trained to give people the support they need to be active via our dedicated health and wellbeing programmes.

Tell us about the ReferAll system and dashboard
ReferAll is a software platform for community health data collection, operating in the cloud, providing a 360˚ approach for stakeholders involved in health and wellbeing services.

The platform provides real-time, comprehensive reports and advanced outcome analytics, which include validated questionnaires that have complex scoring algorithms built-in. It gives Edinburgh Leisure a real-time overview of all its Active Communities projects and their status, including details such as referrals received, uptake and completion rates.

By reducing staff administration time, it helps increase time for participants, as well as automating appointment reminders, speeding up activity enrolment and providing motivational text messages, making the community-health ‘journey’ easily available for participants and more successful for providers.

The software enables our teams to analyse service performance and participant outcomes and ultimately, this means Edinburgh Leisure can demonstrate the impact it’s having on participants’ physical and mental health to commissioners and stakeholders.

How many people are on the system at present?
We’ve been working with ReferAll since July 2023 and already have 4,000 referrals on the system.

When do you anticipate having onboarded all 10,000?
Looking at our figures from previous years, we anticipate having 10,000 referrals by the end of our reporting year, so by March 2024.

How does patient data get onto the system?
ReferAll has created a scheme-specific web-form, which ensures Edinburgh Leisure has direct 24/7 access to patient data. This is reducing admin time for our Active Communities team considerably, as we receive patient information directly into our platform, with no manual inputting needed.

In addition, there’s increased accuracy and real-time data on tracking attendances, while registers are now being completed via the system in real-time, instead of using a paper-based system and relying on the team to input data later that week. They report that this reduces administration time significantly.

How does this work?
Most of our referrals are from GPs or hospitals but we can get referrals from any community-engaged programmes, including schools and community clubs. The referrer selects the most appropriate community service for the individual to attend, and inputs patient information straight into the web-form. These specific details are securely shared when submitting the referral, ready for us to get in touch and book them in.

We can easily track who we can and can’t get hold of and who doesn’t take up the offer. The system is a game-changer for Edinburgh Leisure’s projects.

We’ve seen a 23 per cent increase in uptake to key targeted programmes. This is mainly down to the ability of ReferAll’s bulk text messaging tool, which has allowed us to contact priority groups more easily.

How else will this strengthen your position?
With the ongoing challenges of securing funding from different stakeholders and partners, we needed a much more robust and seamless data platform that enabled us to accurately measure participants’ outcomes and record and report the positive impact that we’re having on their health.

What other benefits will the new set-up deliver?
Having the ability to clearly see the number of non-starters and record reasons for non-participation has been especially helpful. Our Active Communities team has a big role to play, working with partners and focusing on individuals and communities who need extra support and this system helps them do that more easily.

Are you able to share current uptake and completion rates and patient outcomes to date?
We’re in the early stages of the integration of our wellbeing services, so we’re unable to share service outcomes yet.

We’ll begin seeing this data in the next 12 months, but the ReferAll platform allows us to track progress daily, making it simple to identify gaps in data collection and follow up with participants, such as those who haven’t completed a starter or end-of-programme survey.

What is the financial arrangement and how long is the contract?
This was completed through a procurement process. We used the G-Cloud 13 (Crown Commercial Services Framework) to award this contract. We’ve set an initial three-year contract but are looking at this as a long-term commitment.

What are the goals?
When it comes to the impact of our work with individuals and communities, we’re aiming to deliver enhanced customer experience and outcomes for all our projects across Edinburgh and increased efficiency for our advisor team, while also improving reliability of the information from one source, rather than taking data from lots of different sources.

Originally published in Health Club Management 2023 issue 11

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