We have launched a new health initiative supporting patients to remain active during and after cancer treatment. Current research points to the importance of people with a cancer diagnosis returning to exercise whilst still undergoing treatment and then to maintain the exercise habit as they live with or recover from cancer.
The new scheme named ‘Get Active’ features the Activ8rlives BuddyBand2 – a wrist worn waterproof activity tracker, which monitors people’s activity and is uploaded to an Apple or Android App. In conjunction with the patient and qualified personal trainer, a personalised activity plan is drawn up and includes home-based exercises, structured exercise classes or going to the local gym. HCCN has linked with local Leisure Centres to provide access to classes, guided walks etc. We are always on the look out for new opportunities to keep people active. We also continue to fund weekly yoga and circuit classes for all our cancer patients.
Under the ‘Get Active’ scheme, each patient identifies what activity suits them best and is then supported to achieve their goals. This may well open other opportunities for activity that they might not normally consider, such as dancing.
The Activ8rlives BuddyBand2 is supplied at a nominal fee of £30 for participants, along with comprehensive training and support. The Activ8rlives solution provides the means to monitor progress, targets and be linked into online help, messaging, adventures and rewards to ensure individuals gain the maximum benefits from the whole integrated programme of ‘Get Active’.
Physical activity is monitored through collecting data from the band and if any readings generated are not what would be expected, the Personal Trainer can get in touch to ensure the individual is okay and alert the nursing team if necessary. The scheme allows people to become independent and confident in their activity and fitness plans whilst undergoing treatment or beyond.
A pilot of the ‘Get Active’ scheme, using the BuddyBand2, has recently been experienced by 15 cancer patients, who considered it “excellent”, As a consequence the charity is now rolling it out to HCCN patients across the Huntingdonshire area.
HCCN has worked with 2 local businesses on this project:
Forefront Fitness who oversee the personal training element of the project:
Marion Foreman, a nurse with many years in cancer and palliative care, has been instrumental in getting the project up and running. She and her husband Steve, are both passionate about fitness and have a desire to want to help others to get fit and healthy. Marion became a Personal Trainer several years ago and after Steve was diagnosed with a melanoma, Marion trained in Cancer Rehabilitation. They used Steve’s critical illness cover following his diagnosis to set up 2 gyms. Marion says, ‘We read about HCCN in the newspaper and all the good work that they do – we really wanted to help. This system opens up a way of helping and monitoring many people on their own cancer journey.”
Aseptika are a local award winning healthcare technology company, who develop integrated health and wellness solutions for individuals or groups of patients with long-term health conditions. This empowers them to self-care and self-monitor their health parameters and to share this data with their healthcare providers if they so wish.
Kevin Auton, MD, has worked with HCCN, the patients and his team to capture additional parameters, other than activity, that cancer nurses feel will be beneficial for patients to record. This process could lead to patient-generated data being integrated into their patient records (at the individual’s sole discretion as an opt-in).
Kevin says, “Having met the HCCN team at the local Hunts 10K Fun Run earlier in the year, we talked through how we could work with them on improving services locally. I’m thrilled we are involved in a project where we can work with a group of individuals that embrace self-monitoring and feel empowered to take ownership and responsibility for their recovery and wellness going forward or detecting declining health early.”
The ‘Get Active’ scheme and BuddyBand2’s are rolling out across the Hunts area and will need continued funds from fundraising activities to ensure the charity can support everyone who wants access to it. Our Just giving page can be found at: https://www.justgiving.com/hccn