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Improving the physical and mental health of people with long-term conditions:
an integrated approach
In Scotland, people are living longer than ever before. It is the ambition of the Scottish Government and of health charities to ensure that those later lives are as healthy as possible. More people are living with one or more conditions that impact on their health and quality of life. Services must evolve and respond to individual circumstances; new ways must be found to reach those in need and deliver a quality assured service at an affordable cost.
The Scottish Government invited the partner charities to explore how more and improved generic exercise opportunities could be offered to people with long-term conditions throughout Scotland, in an integrated way. These activities have been demonstrated to provide clear benefits in maintaining both physical and mental health. The report details the work of the PARCS project, and is accompanied by a web-based resource pack, aimed at service planners and managers and service delivery staff, with the aim of enabling them to provide the highest quality service in their area.
The project informs practice around service delivery in the transition from health to community based activity, in the prevention and management of long-term conditions based on the evidence from the project. Recommendations are made to maximise recourses whilst providing person-centred and quality services.
The PARCS project evaluated community based physical activity,exercise maintenance and other community based activities for long-term conditions, focusing on cardiac, respiratory and stroke conditions. Health care professionals, other experts and people using services were consulted throughout.
1) The Scottish Government should adopt the proposed national service framework for community-based physical activity and promote it to NHS Boards, Local Authorities and Health & Social Care Partnerships
2) The framework should be implemented equitably across Scotland, recognising the diversity of local circumstances and incorporating the key elements of: a person centred approach, partnership working, a single point of referral, peer and professional support, and telehealth and other innovative approaches
3) Resources to facilitate implementation should include the Integrated Care Fund, the PARCS Resource Pack, the PARCS Implementation Co-ordinator, and a national learning event
4) Services should be as widely accessible and inclusive as possible to ensure that they contribute to tackling health inequalities
5) A standardised national approach should be adopted for specialist instructor training in Scotland
6) A standardised national approach should be adopted to data collection, audit, health evaluation and cost-benefit analysis
CHSS scoping of services available across Scotland
BHF evaluation of services across the rest of the UK
BLF qualitative evaluation
Sarah Florida-James (MSc, BSc, MCSP) PARCS Project Manager
Telephone: 0131 225 6963