First patients welcomed to pioneering new exercise programme Active Together

08 February 2022

People with cancer in South Yorkshire are now being prescribed exercise as part of an innovative new programme funded by Yorkshire Cancer Research.

The first patients are being welcomed to ‘Active Together’, an evidence-based service that supports cancer patients by providing physical activity, nutritional and psychological support.

The programme, delivered by Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Sheffield Hallam University, is expected to improve recovery rates and save lives by reducing the likelihood of cancer returning.

It is available to people diagnosed with upper gastrointestinal (GI), colorectal and lung cancer via referral from a member of their care team. Following an initial assessment, a bespoke plan is created for patients to help prepare them both physically and psychologically before treatment and recover well after treatment.

The first appointments began this week at Sheffield Hallam University’s Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre (AWRC), located within the Olympic Legacy Park, where the programme will take place.

Professor Gary Mills, NHS Consultant in Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine based at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Active Together provides vital fitness preparation for patients about to undergo cancer treatments including surgery, and helps patients recover their fitness, both mental and physical, afterwards.  

“Exercise can make crucial differences, from improving patient wellbeing and quality of life to increasing the likelihood of survival and helping to reduce the risk of cancer coming back. It can improve the speed and extent of recovery for those with cancer. Based on a decade of research, Active Together provides this help tailored to patient needs and so has a new and vital role to play in cancer treatment in South Yorkshire.”

Dr Kathryn Scott, Chief Executive at Yorkshire Cancer Research, said: “Seeing patients being able to take part and benefit from this pioneering programme is a fantastic step forward for people with cancer in the South Yorkshire region. In recent years, it has become very clear that exercise plays a vital role in improving cancer survival rates, and that exercise programmes should be prescribed to people with cancer in the same way as other treatments.

“At Yorkshire Cancer Research, our aim is for 2000 more people to survive cancer every year in Yorkshire. Together with the pioneering team at Sheffield’s AWRC, we are taking a huge leap into creating a world-leading programme that can be introduced across Yorkshire and beyond, helping to save many lives.”

► Find out more about Active Together


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