William Eichler 07 November 2016

Regenerate leisure centres to ‘save NHS’, charity says

Regenerate leisure centres to ‘save NHS’, charity says image

Whitehall should invest £1bn to transform the UK’s ‘ageing fleet’ of leisure centres into ‘wellness hubs’, charity says.

The chair of the health charity UK Active has called on the Government to regenerate 1970s-era leisure centres in a move she argued would ease the burden on the NHS.

Physical inactivity costs the UK £20bn a year and significantly increases the risk of up to 20 conditions including heart disease, type-2 diabetes, cancers and mental health problems.

UK Active chair Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson said improving leisure centres would encourage more physical activity which, in turn, would save the NHS from bankruptcy.

The plan to transform the UK’s leisure stock forms part of a new report from ukactive, called Blueprint for an Active Britain: Milestone Review, which offers practical recommendations across the NHS, local councils, transport, workplaces and the built environment to tackle the UK’s inactivity health crisis.

Paralympic champion and ukactive chair, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, said: ‘Inactive lifestyles are placing unprecedented strain on our health service and it’s vital that we take action now before we bankrupt the NHS.

‘This level of investment is a drop in the ocean compared to the cost to the NHS of a full-blown inactivity epidemic. A radical overhaul of our leisure infrastructure would help us prevent unhealthy habits from forming and move towards a health system that places emphasis on wellness over illness.

‘We all have fond childhood memories of birthday parties and swimming sessions at our local leisure centres and these sites should remain pillars of local communities, with updated offerings which can cater for health needs from cradle to grave.’

Responding to UK Active’s call for more Government funding for leisure centres, an Local Government Association (LGA) spokesman said: ‘Councils have been pioneering co-location of facilities and finding innovative ways to support communities, despite significant funding reductions.

‘However, many of our facilities do now require investment if they are to continue to serve their communities effectively.

‘As leaders of place, councils are ambitious to do more working with their partners across the health, leisure and fitness sectors.

‘Further investment in our leisure facilities will help create a healthy family culture from the very start of a child’s life, tackling levels of obesity.’

Creating communities for all ages image

Creating communities for all ages

Bringing younger and older people together produces dividends, says Stephen Burke, who outlines how councils can encourage more intergenerational care and living.
Revolutionising mental health image

Revolutionising mental health

Cllr Jasmine Ali explains how Southwark Council is putting plans into action to revolutionise children’s mental health in Southwark.
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Social Worker - Children with Disabilities - West

Essex County Council
£30001.0 - £41000.0 per month
In Essex County Council we are "Serious about Social Work". Having recently won the Best Social Work Employer of the Year Award 2018 and been awarded England, Essex, Harlow
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Education Legal Services Officer

Essex County Council
Please note that there are 2 positions available, 1 permanent position and 1 fixed term position for 12 months. Essex County Council has embarked upon England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Project Support Officer

The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council
£25,833 - £29,796 per annum
This role supports the project delivery and business operations of the Asset Strategy and Short Breaks Teams, ensuring that regular business runs... Kensington and Chelsea, London (Greater)
Recuriter: The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council

Data Administrator

The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council
£25,833 - £29,796 per annum
You must have excellent ICT skills to include Excel and Word, plus experience of using email. Kensington and Chelsea, London (Greater)
Recuriter: The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council

Team Manager - Corporate Support

Epping Forest District Council
£33,500 - £36,401 (doe) plus excellent benefits
To be successful you will have previous experience in a Team Management role in service delivery with a focus on continuous improvement. Essex
Recuriter: Epping Forest District Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how public sector organisations can unlock the hidden value in their land, and why a new approach to construction could help boost the outcomes of the Government’s One Public Estate programme.

The December issue also considers why learnings from ancient cities could provide the key to promoting wellbeing in the modern built environment. It also contains a case study on how the London Borough of Westminster has provided high quality care for the elderly alongside a block of luxury apartments.

Register for your free digital issue