GP referral

GP REFERRAL SCHEME

If you have a medical condition, physical or mental, and want to become more active and lead a healthier lifestyle, our established GP Referral Scheme can help you.

Our experienced and well-qualified staff work in partnership with local GP surgeries to help you find the fitness plan to suit your lifestyle. Over the years, we have helped thousands of people.

To be referred onto the scheme, you must first make an appointment with your GP. If they decide that the scheme may help your medical condition(s), you will be invited to attend an initial appointment at one of our leisure centres with a fully qualified member of staff.

The scheme offers group supervised exercise classes, gym sessions and other activities such as racquet sports. The GP Referral team at the leisure centre will help you to choose activities that are safe and enjoyable. They will offer you support and encouragement over a period of 12 weeks as you work towards achieving your goals.

Victoria's story

Victoria was referred to the scheme at Ashington Leisure Centre. Have a listen to her honest and very inspiring story.

Talk to your GP or nurse today to find out how we could help you.

Testimonials

We have more inspiring stories from people who have attended the GP Referral Scheme.
Read some of their stories here.
 

FAQs

What will happen when I start the scheme?

You will be invited to attend an initial appointment in which you will find out more about the scheme and when you can attend. By taking the part in the scheme, you are agreeing to attend two more individual appointments, one after 12 weeks and one when you finish the scheme to measure your progress.

What can I expect when I attend sessions?

The scheme offers group supervised exercise classes, gym sessions and other activities such as racquet sports. We hope you understand that it is not a one to one personal training situation and you are expected to tell your instructor if you experience any problems.  If you need one to one help you must bring a carer or enabler with you. The Health Start team will help you to choose activities that are safe and enjoyable. They will offer you support and encouragement as you work towards achieving your goals. You will be asked to attend twice a week.

Am I fit enough to join?

Yes, you don’t have to be fit to join. People are referred for a wide variety of different medical conditions. If you are unused to exercise we will help you to start gently and gradually build up your activity levels. You have been referred, so your GP or practice nurse thinks the scheme will be beneficial for you.

What clothes and footwear do I need?

For most activities, you will need, light, comfortable clothing - T-shirt and ‘jogging’ pants for example - and supportive footwear to prevent strain and injuries. Trainers are ideal but if you don’t have any then flat, supportive shoes will be enough to get you started.

How much will it cost?

All one to one appointments are free of charge but there is a charge for the Health Start sessions.  There is also the opportunity to take out a membership, which in addition to attending your regular sessions, allows you to use the gym, attend other fitness classes and swim whenever you want.