Active Boost

The 12-week Southwark GP Exercise Referral service has been designed to help inactive people that are struggling with their mental and physical health. It does this by encouraging them to get more physically active both within the programme and beyond their participation and they are supported in taking more control over their own health.

There are three levels of support available: Kickstart, Active Boost and Cardiactive. Each offers different levels of support depending on what help you need.

Active Boost is the second level of support. This is for service users who need a little more support in boosting their confidence in managing their own exercise programme, as well as in exercising safely. This level includes:

  • get reduced cost leisure centre membership and a timetable of specialist supervised group fitness classes including gym sessions, aqua classes, circuits and Pilates.

Eligibility Criteria

Service users must display at least one of these symptoms:

  • Obesity (BMI 40 +)
  • Hypertension above 140/90 but controlled
  • Diabetic type 2 medicated or diet controlled
  • 20%  + CVD risk over next 10 years using Qrisk 2 (
  • In Cancer treatment and rehabilitation


  • BMD greater than 1 SD and less than 2.5 SD below young adult mean


  • BMD – 2.5 at spine, hip or forearm or >4 on fracture index with no history of previous low trauma fracture or history of falls


  • Mild where physical activity will provide symptomatic relief
  • Osteoarthritis/Rheumatoid


  • Moderate OA/RA with intermittent Arthritis mobility problems


  • Grade 1-2 MRC Dyspnoea scale:
  • 1 –only get breathless with strenuous exercise
  • 2 – short of breath when hurrying on the level or walking up a slight hill
  • Patients Grade 3-5 MRC to be referred into Pulmonary Rehabilitation (PR) for a 4–10-week multidisciplinary programme before referral to exercise
  • Referral Scheme (if appropriate)

Neurological Conditions

  • E.g. Young onset Parkinson’s Disease (stable), Multiple Sclerosis (Must be able to independently exercise and set up machine).

What does the Programme involve?

For a 12-week period, clients will be encouraged to build up their weekly activity levels through attending sessions at the centre of their choice.

All clients will take part in an initial assessment at the beginning and a completion assessment end of their 12-week programme. Once they have completed the programme, clients will be encouraged to independently continue with regular physical activity and will be provided with information on local activity opportunities. On completion of the programme, all clients will be entitled to a reduced leisure centre membership.

Clients will be followed up at 9 months from start date on the programme and offered advice and support where needed by an administrator or exercise professional where possible.

Who is Eligible for the Service?

  • all adults aged 18 and over
  • residents of Southwark
  • or registered with a Southwark GP
  • People currently doing less than 150 minutes of exercise each week.

It’s also vital that they have no contra-indications to exercise and they must be clinically stable. Additionally, any patient with a cardiac condition can only be referred to the Cardiactive service.

Who can make an exercise referral?

  • GPs
  • Practice Nurses
  • Specialist Nurses e.g. Health Check Hub, Cardiac Nurses
  • Specialist Cardiac Physiotherapists
  • Cancer Rehabilitation Team (GSTT)
  • Renal Rehabilitation Team

Referrals can be initiated by a mental health professional by telephone or letter to the patient’s GP whose authority is required, and who can then send a referral to the programme.

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