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Physical Activity

Volume 404: debated on Tuesday 29 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much funding his Department has made available to promote physical activity. [109916]

The Department of Health is committed to developing policies that provide people with the skills, information and support to make and sustain healthy lifestyle choices.Between April 2002 and March 2003, the Department made available £710,000 to fund a physical activity programme to:

develop and communicate the evidence base for physical activity;
support the delivery of Planning and Priorities Framework (PPF) targets and National Service Framework milestones; and
work with other Government Departments and stakeholders to enhance opportunities for physical activity.

This does not take account of the significant local activity funded by primary care trusts through their devolved budgets to increase physical activity for those at risk of coronary heart disease and diabetes, such as exercise referral schemes.

Feeding into all three strands of the programme and accounting for £450,000 of the funding allocation in 2002–03 are the local exercise action pilots (LEAP).

The Department, in partnership with the Countryside Agency and Sport England, is investing £2.6 million in LEAP over the next three years to test out innovative approaches to increasing access and participation in physical activity.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance he has issued to primary care trusts on promoting physical activity. [109917]

During the past five years, the Department of Health has commissioned in excess of 13 publications providing physical activity-related guidance and briefing and a number of effectiveness reviews.These publications are aimed at supporting the planning, monitoring and implementation of physical activity interventions and are relevant to policy makers and practitioners in a range of settings, including primary care trusts. For example, the national quality assurance framework for exercise referral systems and the subsequent register of exercise professionals were produced to help improve standards of exercise referral programmes.Later this year, the Chief Medical Officer will publish a report which sets out the case for physical activity and health. It will bring together the latest research evidence on physical activity and how it can contribute to improved health.