Since the start of the new year, NHS Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has been busy ‘walking’ to Rio and is currently touring South America.
Unfortunately this doesn’t actually include visiting the countries; it is a virtual trip that is part of the national Workplace Challenge.
The CCG have obtained the most Workplace Challenge points so far out of any organisation across England in 2016 - that is some going as there's over 4,000 workplaces registered nationally, and some of those are huge international companies with thousands of staff.
The Workplace Challenge is a UK wide programme from County Sports Partnership Network, funded by Sport England, which aims to engage workplaces in sport and physical activity.
The CCG wanted to embrace physical activity as it is a key driver of Healthy Liverpool, the once in a generation plan to improve health and wellbeing in the city.
Dianna Mannhart, Neighbourhood Support Manager, has been at the heart of planning and encouraging members of the team to take part.
She said, “We are delighted to be top of the leader board of the Workplace Challenge. The whole experience has been brilliant for staff and has got everyone talking about physical activity. The Challenge is appealing to people of all fitness levels and has also created some very healthy competition with some members of the team, so this will drive us on to do even more.
“We really want to practice what we preach here at NHS Liverpool CCG. We hope this will help motivate members of the public to get moving and help join in. 424 deaths can be prevented each year if we can get every adult in the city active for just 30 minutes five times a week. That’s a really stark statistic that we can help reduce.”
Danny Woodworth, from Merseyside Sports Partnership, who run the Workplace Challenge in Merseyside, said, “We are incredibly proud to be able to continue to support NHS Liverpool CCG in improving physical activity levels for their staff.
“Within such a short space of time, NHS Liverpool CCG staff, both active and inactive, have embraced the Workplace Challenge. Taking top spot in the country is a remarkable achievement, actively supported by their Governing Body and enthusiastic staff team. They have really set a great example to communities they serve across Liverpool.
“The Workplace Challenge provides businesses with a range of tools and support to develop workplace physical activity, leading to a healthier and more productive workforce. Any other organisations in Merseyside can get on board by visiting the Workplace Challenge website at www.workplacechallenge.org.uk/merseyside.”
Dr Maurice Smith, a GP at Mather Avenue surgery in Allerton and Clinical Director for Healthy Liverpool’s ‘Living Well’ project said “The team at the CCG have walked an incredible 11,922,143 steps this year already. For some, who were already active, that has meant increasing their runs from 5k to 10k, but more importantly for me, it has been the less active members of the team increasing their physical activity.”
Dianna continued, “Everyone has really embraced the Workplace Challenge, it has got everyone thinking about their personal activity levels and aiming to do more”.
Kirsty from Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group explained how taking part in the ‘Walk to Rio’ campaign through work made such a difference to her lifestyle, “It made me try harder to walk more, such as taking the stairs instead of using the lift, walking to the shops instead of driving, and spending more time walking and dancing with my three year old daughters - and we had lots of laughs along the way too!”
“It really motivated me to see how my colleagues were taking part and logging their steps on the Workplace Challenge, as I could see them improving their physical activity levels. I used to be quite embarrassed about being slow climbing the stairs, but now I don’t mind if someone overtakes me because at least I know that I’m being active. Taking part in this campaign has increased my confidence and is helping me to lose weight - I’m already feeling the benefits of increased activity.”
A key goal of Healthy Liverpool is to make health and social care in the city more sustainable. Physical activity will be central to the strategy for preventing illness and improving quality of life for people with long-term conditions, therefore reducing pressure on the NHS.
The CCG is currently engaging with the public on their plans for Healthy Liverpool, local people have until 20 March 2016 to give their views.
People can learn more and share their views by visiting www.healthyliverpool.nhs.uk.
Information in printed formats is available by calling 0151 247 6409.
The next in a series of public events, takes place on Thursday 10 March, and will give people the opportunity to hear local doctors talk about Healthy Liverpool in more detail, and pose their questions in person.
All events will include general information about Healthy Liverpool and then focus on one of three specific themes; Urgent and Emergency Care, Community services and Hospital services: