Community Health

DSW Health Pathway
National Exercise referral (NERS)

What is the DSW Health Disability Sport Pathway?

The DSW Health Disability Sport Pathway has been formed from a joint partnership between Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) and Disability Sport Wales (DSW), and is supported by funding from Sport Wales Calls for Action.

The Pathway was created in response to an identified lack of communication between health and sport.  Data protection legislation combined with the traditional invisibility of disabled communities, made it difficult for DSW and the sport network to target disabled people across North Wales, and to make them aware of physical activity and sporting opportunities. 

As it is assumed that all disabled people access health care services at some stage in their lives, through this partnership, barriers can be removed to getting the message across to disabled people.  We can also work towards increasing participation levels in physical activity and sport, which leads to people potentially attaining a better health status and reducing the need to use health services.

How does the Pathway work?

The partnership intends to increase awareness, understanding and consistency between the health sector and Disability Sport Network in North Wales.  This will be achieved through a planned programme of education and upskilling of professionals in both areas.  It aims to transform the way health sector staff approach health care and work towards a culture of health promotion, where encouraging exercise and participation in physical activity is a part of everyone’s core practice.

How do I access the Pathway?

Staff members from within the health sector, eg a physiotherapist or paediatrician will discuss the project with their patient, and if the patient is interested in getting involved in sport, the member of staff will complete a signposting form and refer the patient to the Active Communities team.

Each referral will be contacted by the local Disability Sport Officer or another Officer from within our team to discuss which participation opportunities are available.  Initial contact will be via a phone call, but face-to-face meetings can be arranged as a follow up.

So far, we have worked with customers who have taken up a range of difference sports including wheelchair basketball and joining the gym in our Leisure Centres.  The Pathway is open to all age ranges.

If you would like any more information, please contact Brett Jones, Disability Sports Officer through our contact us

National Exercise referral

The exercise referral scheme is part of the National Exercise Referral Scheme for Wales(NERS) funded by Public Health Wales and work in partnership with the Welsh Government”.

The NERS scheme is designed for inactive adults who are either at risk of developing a chronic health condition or have a pre-existing medical condition. NERS exercise professionals hold additional qualifications which allow them to exercise clients with specific health conditions safely due to a range of qualifications and experience.  

How do I access the service?

You will need to be referred by a Health Professional (usually your GP, Practice Nurse or a condition specific Physiotherapist) who will have access to the NERS referral dispensing website.

Chronic Health Conditions

Amongst the various qualifications achieved by the Exercise Professionals, they are also qualified to support clients with chronic health conditions.

  • BACPR Cardiac Rehabilitation Instructors
  • Chronic Respiratory Exercise Instructors
  • Cancer and Exercise Instructors
  • Obesity & Diabetes Management Instructors
  • Postural Stability Falls Prevention Instructors
  • Back Care Instructor
  • Stroke/long term neurological condition instructor

For further information on the scheme please contact Alison Couch through our contact page.

Am I eligible?

The Scheme targets people aged 16 and over with, or at risk of developing, a chronic health condition. There are set entry criteria which your health professional will need to check you meet. You will then be assessed by a suitably qualified instructor before you start the scheme to make sure you are eligible, safe and meet the criteria. It is also a great opportunity to take some baseline measurements and encourage clients to set their own realistic and achievable goals, this is important as we will structure clients’ sessions around their goals.

How long does the scheme last for?

The scheme lasts from 4-32 weeks’ dependent on the referral reason. Session times will vary dependent on clients’ fitness levels but will last no longer than an hour. We have different activity sessions available dependent on site which include: gym based exercise, gentle circuits, chair based circuits, balance classes, outdoor exercise sessions (some are free), Tai Chi and water based exercise sessions. You are required to attend regular sessions and attend follow up consultations at 16 and 52 weeks.

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