We want to support the healthcare workforce across Greater Manchester to incorporate movement and physical activity within their routine care to provide better patient outcomes.

The health and social care workforce plays a crucial role in promoting physical activity and enabling their patients to be active.

There are over 650,000 healthcare professionals in the country, each estimated to see nearly half a million patients during their career.

They’re considered a trusted source of advice, so what they say about physical activity, and how they raise it as a topic.

Why physical activity?

“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.” 

UK Chief Medical Officers Physical Activity Guidelines, 2019

Regular physical activity offers a range of physical health, mental health, and social benefits, many of which are increasing in prevalence for individuals, communities and society. These include:

  • reducing the risk of many long-term conditions  
  • helping manage existing conditions and deliver better patient outcomes
  • ensuring good musculoskeletal health
  • developing and maintaining physical and mental function and independence
  • supporting social inclusion and reducing loneliness
  • helping maintain a healthy weight
  • reducing inequalities for people with long-term conditions

Moving healthcare professionals programme

The Moving Healthcare Professionals Programme (MHPP) is a national programme led by the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) – formerly Public Health England (PHE) – in partnership with Sport England.

Its aim is to support healthcare professionals to increase their knowledge and skills and incorporate physical activity within routine care to support quality improvement and better patient outcomes.

The programme provides free, online peer-to-peer group training and practical resources to support healthcare professionals to provide brief physical activity advice for the management and prevention of common conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.

Check out the results from Phase 1 and Phase 2 here.

Active Hospitals final milestone report.

Physical activity clinical champions training

Physical Activity Clinical Champions (or PACC for short) is an evidence-based, physical activity education programme for health and care professionals.

The peer-to-peer training increases health and care professionals’ knowledge and skills so that they can incorporate physical activity within routine care. This aligns with the personalised care agenda and supports better patient outcomes.

Find out more here.

Get inspired

Embedding physical activity into long-established healthcare practices can feel daunting. But many healthcare professionals are already embedding physical activity into how they work.

Alvanley Family Practice in Stockport worked together with patients to improve the health and wellbeing of people living within the local community, not just their patients.

Watch the video (below) to learn more about their story.

Resources to help you

Click the button below to find a list of resources to support you discuss physical activity more regularly within your work.

The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) Physical Activity Toolkit

The toolkit has been designed by the RCGP in partnership with Sport England, to be used by primary care professionals in the UK. Any health professional concerned about their own activity levels may find the toolkit useful. The toolkit is designed to have something for all clinicians.

Better Health Campaign

A range of digital resources from PHE to take the first steps towards making positive, healthier choices. 

NICE Guidance: Physical Activity Brief Advice for Adults in Primary Care

This guidance from NICE covers providing brief advice on physical activity to adults in primary care. It aims to improve health and wellbeing by raising awareness of the importance of physical activity and encouraging people to increase or maintain their activity level.

PHE Health Matters: Physical Activity for Long-Term Conditions

Public Health England has produced a useful summary of the benefits, evidence and initiatives for physical activity for the prevention and management of long-term conditions in adults, including infographics and videos.

RCGP Physical Activity Toolkit and Active Practices Charter

The Royal College of GPs and Sport England have teamed up to produce a comprehensive physical activity toolkit for primary care professionals. The Active Practice Charter is fun, easy way to make some simple but impactful changes in GP Practice that will demonstrate to your patients and staff that you mean it when you say that movement is the best medicine.

Active Pregnancy Foundation

The Active Pregnancy Foundation believes in a whole systems approach based on clear and consistent evidence-based messages shared by all professionals, so that pregnant and postnatal women feel reassured and empowered to make informed physical activity choices. They provide a range of professional resources which includes advice and top tips to support an active journey through pregnancy and beyond.

Active Hospitals – Toolkit Overview

Active Hospitals, provided by Moving Medicine, aims to change the physical activity culture within hospitals to encourage patients to move more. Their toolkit can help you to create your own Active Hospital.

Medical Practice Waiting Room Video

A clip commissioned for medical practice screens to start the conversation around ways we can all become more active. This is a free resource for those in the sector, so don't hesitate to make use of this and get in touch for more resources.

Swimming as Medicine Videos

The Swimming as Medicine series has been created to encourage healthcare professionals to consider recommending swimming and aquatic activity to their patients as an effective way of improving health and wellbeing. View the videos here and learn more about swimming for health here.

Training to support you

There's lots of organisations that offer training to support the health and social workforce, see more below:

Moving Medicine - Online Learning Resource

Moving Medicine is an award winning free online resource to help healthcare professionals integrate physical activity conversations into routine clinical care. Find step by step conversation guides and patient leaflets for condition-specific consultations.

Modules to consider: Active Conversations

PHE's All Our Health

This is a bite-sized session to give health and care professionals an overview of physical activity - including key evidence, data and signposts to trusted resources to help prevent illness, protect health and promote wellbeing

Make Every Contact Count

PHE and NHS's Making Every Contact Count (MECC) course is a short interactive e-learning that looks at how we can use our everyday interactions to support behaviour change, without adding to busy workloads, and focuses on asking open questions and reflective listening. Access via Health Education England's learning portal (no registration needed).


BMJ and PHE's Motivational Interviewing course is a short one-hour module explaining what motivational interviewing is, its uses and explanations. Access via BMJ learning (registration needed)

Physical Activity in the treatment of long-term conditions course covers 9 modules including cancer, diabetes, osteoarthritis and low back pain, cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease (COPD and asthma), depression, anxiety, sleep and dementia. Plus a module on promoting physical activity in primary care. Access via BMJ Learning

Swim England/NHS England

Swim England with support from NHS England eLearning for healthcare has developed a new eLearning programme on the unique health benefits of aquatics and swimming. The 20-minute session raises awareness of the benefits of aquatic activity on health and wellbeing and will enhance learners’ confidence in identifying patients who would benefit most. Find out more here. Click here to access with an existing learning hub account or to register.