Your heart is the most important organ in your body but over time, poor lifestyle choices can cause wear and tear and lead to serious health problems like heart attacks, strokes, angina and vascular dementia – all known as cardiovascular disease (CVD).
Our Pivot to Active wellbeing is at the cutting edge of a huge impetus to immerse our leisure facilities and services in the fight for healthier, more active lifestyles to improve population health.
Indeed, the Manchester Evening News was the first to give the pivot some mainstream publicity by highlighting the great work being done by our colleagues at Be Well in Wigan, spreading the word about their basic health checks, while at the same time, telling the stories of two local people, Mike Walker and Linda Richardson, who have been using the Robin Park Leisure Centre for rehab after each suffering a heart attack.
Meanwhile, NICE (the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) is recommending stroke victims undergo three hours of rehab a day, every day – there’s another opportunity for our sector to step in as a key rehab provider.
That has been the focus of a feature in HCM magazine, in which our Chair, Andy King, made the case for offering a community-based approach to stroke rehab, via health clubs and leisure centres, that can provide a more flexible and accessible solution to address many of the issues associated with clinical settings (lack of staff, restrictive opening times etc).
It was timely, then, that our board members and strategic business partners heard from Momenta, a leading developer of behaviour change programmes, when its CEO Harry MacMillan gave us plenty of food for thought at our December 2023 meeting.
There are around 7.6 million people living with heart and circulatory diseases in the UK – twice as many as those living with cancer and Alzheimer’s combined.
Momenta Newcastle delivers CVD programmes directly for NHS England and local councils. Momenta programmes are also delivered across the UK by many public, private and charitable partner organisations.
They spread the good news that there are lots of things people can do to limit wear and tear on the heart and the health issues that can cause.
At the heart (no pun intended) of Momenta’s drive for better heart health is the Momenta Heart Health Check, whereby participants receive a FREE personalised heart health report, illustrating the impact lifestyle could be having on their heart health while showing how key, day-to-day changes can help to make a difference.
Momenta’s Heart Health Check has eight questions and is in two parts:
Most questions can be answered yes or no and there’s guidance for those answering don’t know. With all answers collated, a personalised report is compiled along with the relevant advice about lessening the chances and/or impact of CVD.
Heart and circulatory diseases cause a quarter of all deaths in the UK and are the largest cause of premature mortality in deprived areas.
Up until now, the focus of the NHS focus has been on identifying disease with less support after a diagnosis.
Momenta has identified the future need to cater for large numbers of CVD sufferers with a high need for support.
The Momenta Heart Health Check is one facet of Discover Momenta, a leading developer of evidence-based, outcome driven, healthy lifestyle solutions.
It designs, delivers, licenses and continuously improves services to help people negotiate the many day-to-day challenges they face in living healthier lives. It supports public, private and third sector commissioners, clients and partners to deliver world-class behavioural interventions in the heart of local communities.
It boasts a world-class core team and leading experts in their fields. For example, its CVD work is led by Dr Paul Chadwick, Clinical and Health Psychologist and Honorary Senior Associate Professor in Behaviour Change at University College London.
The high quality outcomes can be delivered directly or licensed and supported.
In addition to heart health, Momenta has acquired a leading reputation as an NHS provider nationally on diabetes prevention and has developed the first national framework on diabetes in remission.
Momenta’s Heart Health Check programme is a zero-cost way for operators to demonstrate they can make a quantifiable difference to the health of their members and their local population.
Here are some of the other benefits:
Momenta can deliver a CVD programme virtually with no training or license cost and no need to find fitness coaches etc.