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  1. D White
  1. Directorate of Chief Medical Officer of Scotland


Aim To embed the routine promotion of physical activity (PA) across secondary care settings in Scotland; to enable and inspire the workforce to contribute to national targets; and to encourage innovative and collaborative approaches across various clinical settings.

Methods A simple, validated screening tool for inactivity was developed, and set within the new ‘National Physical Activity Pathway’. Poor staff confidence and expertise on the topic was identified through national engagement, and this was addressed with the development of an educational resource suite (DVD & facilitator notes; e-learning modules, etc).1 Revision of patient documentation was encouraged to increase opportunities for implementation of the PA Pathway. Facilitated local collaboration between clinical leads, health improvement staff, and Quality Improvement (QI) teams fostered new partnerships for action. A bespoke QI package was developed to support small-scale, developmental practice guided through improvement science, enabling systematic sharing and up-scaling of good practice. National guidance was issued to all health boards, detailing their obligations and the support available.

Results A total of 3979 secondary care staff were trained in PA promotion and behaviour change within 12 months of the launch of the PA Pathway. The 'routine' promotion of physical activity increased from in only 9 clinical settings across 6 health boards, to 67 settings across all 15 Scottish health boards within the year. Documentation had been amended in 69 clinical settings.

Conclusions Supporting the secondary care workforce to promote PA has seen early progress across a range of clinical settings and specialties. With PA promotion growing across Scottish hospital settings, evidencing the effectiveness of impact of this intervention is a priority allowing further momentum in the NHS contribution to a more active Scotland. Newly established local partnerships and national networks should allow for sustained progress moving forward.

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