Inpatients on mental health wards in Lancashire and South Cumbria will this year benefit from being able to exercise on the ward thanks to an innovative new partnership. This Wellbeing Week (24 June to 30 June) Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust (LSCft) is working in partnership with leading training provider HFE (Health and Fitness Education). 

32 of the Trust’s recovery and healthcare support workers are currently undertaking a Level 2 gym instructor qualification. It will equip them with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to be able to lead structured gym-based exercise sessions to patients in a safe and effective manner.

This service will then be available to suitable patients admitted to LSCft inpatient facilities with gym provision. The innovative project involves a six month course. All 32 recovery support staff work in roles that operate out of hours. This gives our inpatients the opportunity to be able to exercise in a ward based or outside gym supported by gym instructors employed by the Trust at a time that suits them as part of their mental health recovery with us.

Images of gym aquipment, running machines, cross trainers exercise bikes in a ward based gymWhile the initiative will primarily serve to provide mental health patients with a more diverse and integrated level of care supporting their overall physical and mental wellness, our Trust colleagues will also benefit from the opportunity to create more variety in their working day while supporting greater health outcomes.


Tracey Dean, Director of Allied Health Professions at the Trust said

“Our innovative approach will aid mental health recovery and support the physical health of our inpatients. We’re delighted that we’re able to offer the opportunity for more of our support workforce to develop, learn and obtain their Level 2 gym instructor qualification. This will enable them to safely facilitate our mental health inpatient service users to become more physically active."

Physiotherapy Assistant Sarah Singleton is doing the qualification. Sarah said:

 “I’m really excited to be training as a gym instructor because it will allow me to better engage with our service users and opens up more equipment in our gym that our patients can use safely with my guidance to benefit their mental and physical health recovery.”

Rick Gardiner, Head of Operations, at training provider HFE said:

 “We’re an extremely proud supporter of the NHS, particularly LSCft because we’re a north-west based training provider. We are thoroughly looking forward to supporting all 32 mental health workers through the programme and to have some contribution to the development of health and wellbeing services in the Lancashire and South Cumbria region.”