Agenda item

Physical Activity Strategic Framework

Report of the Corporate Director, Adult and Health Services and the Director of Public Health, Durham County Council.


The Board received a joint report of the Corporate Director of Adult and Health Services and Director of Public Health on the County Durham Physical Activity Strategy (PAS) and a presentation given by the Public Health Strategic Manager, Michael Shannon (for copy see file of minutes).


The Board noted that the final PAS would include additional context and detail, including explicit detail on: how the strategy would be aligned to the approach to healthy weight, obesity, active travel and other strategic interdependencies; systems mapping to highlight connections with other key parts of the system; work between the strategy’s key collaborators, such as Public Health, Culture, Sport and Tourism, County Durham Sport.


It was explained that the aim of the PAS was to increase movement, and it was informed by the JSNA and JHWS.  It was noted that across County Durham communities there were huge variations in activity levels/sedentary behaviour and a system wide approach was needed to address this.


The Board noted the core principles of the PAS were:

        Principle 1 – Person and community-centred

        Principle 2 – Whole systems working and collaboration with partners

        Principle 3 – Focus where the need is greatest

        Principle 4 – Engaging individuals and organisations with the strategy – what can I do?

        Principle 5 – Continued learning and evaluation


Councillor T Henderson asked how success would be measured.  The Public Health Strategic Manager noted from data, including Sports England ‘Active Lifestyle’, i.e. 150 minutes of activity a week, and the number of people who were active/inactive.


The Director of Public Health noted there were a number of colleagues in the room from a lot of NHS organisations and asked how they were being engaged with, linking to the action plan.  The Public Health Strategic Manager noted work with what had been Public Health England, with a number of round table events planned for large public sector organisations, such as the NHS and Durham University.



The Director of Integrated Community Services noted that an important aspect was that increased physical activity had a proven impact in terms of demand on NHS services and also benefits in terms of improved mental health and post-operative recovery.  He noted that prescription of physical activity and therefore it would be important to work with social prescribers.  The Public Health Strategic Manager noted there were links with social prescriber link workers and agreed as regards the importance and benefits as described.


The Director of Operations, Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust, Jennifer Illingworth noted that from the Mental Health Trust there were Activity Coordinators which had then an impact on the clinical professionals and that model could be something to tap into, having proven very useful and would be happy to share information.  The Public Health Strategic Manager noted the development of ‘Moving Together Champions’ and added that could be useful.  He reminded the Board that a previous Chief Medical Officer had stated ‘If physical activity were a drug, we would refer to it as a miracle cure due to the great many illnesses it can prevent and help treat’.



(a)   That the contents of the high-level Physical Activity Strategy document and feedback from the Board be noted.

(b)   That proposals for co-production of the Physical Activity Strategy Action Plan be agreed.

Supporting documents: