A unique £10 million centre for sport and exercise medicine is to be set up in the East Midlands as part of Olympic-year government plans to promote health and fitness, announced today by the Health Secretary Andrew Lansley.
A consortium of six partners from hospitals and universities in the region will run the centre. It will be a hub of research into sports and exercise injuries and conditions associated with lack of exercise and its work will be shared with the NHS nationally to deliver real health benefits to the UK population.
Doctors and researchers from the Nottingham and Leicester University Hospital NHS Trusts and the Universities of Nottingham, Loughborough and Leicester, as well as the Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust will collaborate at a purpose-built centre on the Loughborough University campus. The centre will treat exercise-related injuries but will also help people to use physical activity to cope with existing medical conditions such as diabetes.
The centre will be one of three hubs nationally, representing a total of £30million in Government funding and which together will form the country’s first ever National Sports and Exercise Medicine Centre of Excellence.
Leading UK sports doctor, Professor Mark Batt, from Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust and The University of Nottingham said: “The London 2012 Olympics will be a fantastic national spectacle and additionally will provide further support for the medical specialty of sport and exercise medicine. The announcement of £30M funding for a National Centre of Excellence for Sport and Exercise medicine is a clear London 2012 legacy pledge, and continues the government’s support given to this emerging specialty.
“The East Midlands has a long heritage of sport and sporting success and is a natural home for the new National Centre. Along with London and Sheffield it will form a networked National Centre to serve the general public, patients and athletes alike. The East Midlands consortium provides a fantastic array of clinical and research skills and experience to support exciting developments at the new National Centre.”
The new National Centre will act as a focus for Sport and Exercise medicine research encouraging the development of pathways and partnerships for the translation of research findings into practice. Specifically, experts will aim to help people become more active and maintain these healthy life changes. Additionally the centre will provide medical services for those who become ill or injured through sport and physical activity, aiding a return to full fitness, work and sport. The envisaged clinical service provision includes:
• Routine and specialist (gait, biomechanical analysis) Sport and Exercise medicine NHS clinics: including advanced diagnostic imaging
• Specialist sport and physical activity related services: cardiology, respiratory medicine, eating disorders etc
• Co-ordination and centralization of services for university and elite athletes: working with The English Institute of Sport (EIS) and National Governing Bodies of sport (NGBs).
• The development of Exercise Medicine services for the prevention and treatment of some chronic illnesses/diseases
Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust and the University of Nottingham have for many years provided excellence in NHS clinical service delivery, teaching and research in Sport and Exercise medicine with three NHS Sport and Exercise medicine consultants working together with a number of different sports and organisations: Wimbledon, England cricket and the English Institute of Sport.
Professor Batt added: “The further enhancement of Sport and Exercise medicine can be a lasting Olympic legacy benefiting the NHS and the whole country. The Faculty of Sport and Exercise medicine (FSEM) has advised the Department of Health on this project and fully support the development of the National Centre as an exciting and important venue for the training and employment of Sport and Exercise medicine physicians.”
Professor of Metabolic Physiology at The University of Nottingham, Ian Macdonald said: “We are very excited to be part of this East Midlands Consortium. The University’s MSc in Sports and Exercise Medicine and associated research work in Sports Medicine, Exercise Physiology, Muscle Metabolism, and Nutrition will provide major inputs to the East Midlands contribution to this national initiative in Sport and Exercise Medicine. We look forward to working with the other members of the Consortium to enhance research, teaching and clinical practice in this important clinical area.”
Professor Mike Cooke CBE, Chief Executive of the Nottinghamshire Healthcare Trust said: “As an integrated care provider offering not only mental health, but also physical health services, we are passionate about people’s health and wellbeing from top to toe. The Olympics is a great event and something we can all be very excited and proud about and I hope it will encourage everyone to become more active in a way that suits and benefits them. This announcement of our successful joint bid will be a tangible outcome for the Olympic investment and an endorsement of our approach here in the East Midlands.”