Local leisure centres help cancer patients to prepare and recover from surgery

An exercise, nutrition and wellbeing programme is helping thousands of cancer patients in Greater Manchester prepare for and recover from major surgery.

Courtesy of OCL
Courtesy of OCL

Launched in April 2019, outcome measure results for the Prehab4Cancer programme show participants are getting fitter and stronger during prehab before surgery and maintaining their weight and BMI. Anecdotal feedback from healthcare professionals highlights the quick recovery that patients make after surgery, particularly in how quickly they recover their mobility which reduces their time spent in hospital.

Prehab4Cancer is a co-designed transformation programme between GM Active and GM Cancer, which supports more than 1,000 cancer patients every year living in Greater Manchester through freely accessible physical activity, nutritional support and wellbeing interventions. 

The programme is the UK’s first regional system of large-scale, physical activity-supported prehab and recovery as a standard of care for cancer patients. It shows how innovative co-working between the leisure and healthcare sectors in Greater Manchester is creating better patient outcomes and NHS savings.

GM Active is the delivery agent for the programme. As a collective of 12 Greater Manchester leisure and community organisations, its member organisations manage the bulk of the publicly owned leisure and physical activity assets and services on behalf of the 10 local authorities in Greater Manchester.

“Prehab4Cancer is a trailblazing programme which the healthcare and leisure sectors in Greater Manchester have collaborated to co-design and co-deliver,” said Pete Burt, chair of GM Active. 

“Our gym and leisure facilities are on the frontline of the prevention agenda, contributing hugely to both wellbeing and productivity across Greater Manchester and reducing the burden on the NHS. This programme is helping patients take control of their diagnosis, giving them the opportunity to improve their health and wellbeing before their official treatment has even started.”

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