GAT Gloucestershire Arthritis Trust
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GAT funds NHS physio pilot scheme to help people with chronic hip and knee pain

The Gloucestershire Arthritis Trust (GAT) is working with the Gloucestershire Hospitals Physiotherapy service and Leisure@cheltenham to trial a year-long pilot scheme called LEAP (Lower Extremity Activity Programme) for people who have chronic hip and knee pain.

LEAP is a six-week, rolling programme, with two new people joining every week. This way, new joiners get one-to-one supervision at the very start which leads to participants being more confident more quickly. GAT has provided a £7,800 grant for LEAP which could become a standard NHS offering in 2015, once all the feedback and analysis is completed. So far 27 people have started the programme aged between 44 and 81 years old. Of the 17 that have completed it 11 have gone on to take up gym membership.

Beginning in April, 2014, each six week course is run by Physiotherapist Chris Moule, who is based at Cheltenham General Hospital and a fitness instructor from Leisure@cheltenham. The sessions include supervised exercise and education to cover the benefits of exercise, weight management, effective use of pain relief medication and managing flare ups of pain. Once the programme finishes, a concession gym membership is available to attendees to support them in continuing their exercise.

Steve Morton, GAT Secretary says, "Our previous grants for equipment and treatment are helping around 2,000 people every year to get their mobility and often their lives back on track. By funding innovative NHS pilots such as LEAP our charity will enable even more people to live more normal lives."

Chris Moule, NHS Physiotherapist says "Research, including the NICE Guideline on Osteoarthritis, has shown that an approach combining exercise and learning skills to help cope with symptoms provides long term benefit and doing this in a group setting has been shown to enhance the benefits further. This is why we are trialling this scheme, funded by GAT, for people across Gloucestershire".

Feedback from attendees has so far been very positive, including:

"Thanks to GAT, it was nice to get guidance and support to exercise safely and manage pain. I found the NHS talks very interesting and it was good to be able to get answers to any questions we had. I found the programme very motivating".

"I found the programme most helpful in two ways: Progressing exercise in the gym, which I hope to continue and providing information regarding other areas of health for example pain, flare-ups, supplements etcetera which I have not been given before. A very helpful programme - thank you GAT and the NHS".

Waitrose customers raise £363 for GAT

Waitrose customers give GAT Chairman something to smile about When Waitrose opened their new store in Chipping Sodbury a quick thinking supporter emailed the store manager to ask if GAT could be one of their Charities of the Month.

"Yes" came the reply, "How about next month?"

The system uses green tokens which are given to each shopper who chooses which of three charities they want to support.

As the store is in South Gloucestershire we werenít sure how strongly customers would feel about GAT, but in the end 36.3% of customers chose to support GAT.

This was converted into a cheque for £363, which was presented by Kate Long to GATís Chairman Sally Eyre.


Please contact us for more information:

Gloucestershire Arthritis Trust
Cheltenham General Hospital,
Sandford Road,
GL53 7AN

Email:    Telephone: 01242 221005    Twitter: Tweet @GlosArthritis

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