Cancer Rehabilitation at Hutton Moor

Since 2013 Parkwood Leisure has been hosting a pioneering rehabilitation programme designed to improve the health of former cancer patients.

Held at Hutton Moor Leisure Centre in Weston-super-Mare, the programme of Energise exercise classes is run in partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support, North Somerset Council, NHS Bristol and Bristol University. Funding is provided by Avon, Somerset and Wiltshire Cancer Services Network.

Classes are designed specifically for individuals who have had cancer and whose quality of life can be maintained or improved by taking part in regular, supervised exercise classes with specially-qualified fitness instructors.

A self-referral process ensures maximum accessibility to the programme which is run by Parkwood Leisure’s specialist Cancer Rehab Instructors and overseen by our Healthy Living Manager.

The scheme works by offering high-risk individuals a structured 12-week, one-to-one exercise programme, incorporating a range of activities. Regular health checks and assessments are carried out at weeks 0, 6 and 12 to measure each participant’s health improvements, with all data fed back to Macmillan.

A key factor to the scheme’s success is that many participants feel comfortable exercising with like-minded individuals under the guidance of the experienced instructors. Participants also receive various incentives to complete the scheme, including discounted leisure centre membership.

Benefits and results

The programme at Hutton Moor has proved highly successful for everyone involved with the initiative.

  • Participants have benefited from improved health, fitness and better management of the side effects of cancer and its treatments, including weight management, fatigue management and improved mobility.
  • In an initial evaluation 100% said their self-image had improved as a result of attending, 97% reported improvements in flexibility, 66% reported improved lymphoedema, while 100% had increased physical activity levels and planned to continue exercising.
  • Healthcare professionals now have a physical activity programme that is tailored to the needs of cancer patients and offers regular feedback on progress.
  • A key outcome for healthcare professionals has been a reduction in the time they need to spend with patients and fewer re-admissions.
  • Healthcare service providers benefit from the provision of a local rehab service which meets national and local policy and also contributes to the number of people becoming more active.