Physical activity referral scheme

Quality Assurance

Bristol City Council ensures that the facilities listed on this website meet the requirements of the Exercise Referral National Quality Framework.

The individual sites manage and facilitate the Exercise Referral Scheme and are responsible for ensuring that it is a safe scheme that is appropriate to the participants.

About the Scheme

The physical activity referral scheme is a 12 week scheme which enables participants to visit the centre a minimum of twice a week over the time period.

It's an introduction to physical activity, providing support to establish a physical activity habit to help participants move towards the Department of Health’s 150 minutes physical activity recommendation.

All programmes are tailored around participant’s health conditions and the goals they would like to achieve throughout the programme and in the future.

Making a referral

If your patient’s health condition falls within Low or Medium risk and they are ready to start participating in physical activity (see details on Bristol's physical activity referral programmes for people with health conditions page), you may refer them by completing the Referral form (pdf, 160 KB) (opens new window) (pdf, 160k) (opens new window) with them, and sending it direct to the chosen exercise referral venue. Find out where the different physical activity schemes take place (pdf, 35k) (opens new window) .

If the form is not completed in full, is not signed by both parties or is sent to a different address, then the referral will be returned to the health practitioner.

The Referral Instructor will contact the patient within two weeks of receiving the form to make an initial appointment.

What happens on the scheme?

The initial appointment will enable the patient who becomes a ‘participant’ on the scheme to meet the instructor, visit the venue, and have a health check. They will discuss any preferences, concerns and questions, and input into a programme that is designed for them. They will also be inducted on any equipment to be used over the course of the 12 weeks.

Participants are asked to meet up with their Referral Instructor at 3, 6 and 12 weeks. The 3 weeks is an informal chat to talk about how the programme is going. At 6 and 12 weeks participants will undergo a health check to track progress and influence their future programme.

Participants should attend a minimum of twice per week to achieve the maximum benefits and health outcomes from the scheme.

Please see the Exercise Referral Scheme Information Leaflet (pdf, 224 KB) (opens new window) (pdf, 224k) (opens new window) for more information.

Participants are asked to make an appointment with their health practitioner at the end of the scheme, to discuss their results (provided to the participant by their Instructor), their health condition and their future physical activity plans.

The cost

Exercise Referral costs (pdf, 214k) (opens new window) (pdf, 214k) (opens new window)

Activity timetable

The timetable lists venues.

Exercise Referral activity timetable (pdf, 68 KB) (opens new window) (pdf, 218k) (opens new window)

If you would like a copy of the Exercise Referral Quality Standards, please email: activechoices@bristol.gov.uk