This quality standard covers encouraging physical activity in people of all ages who are in contact with the NHS, including staff, patients and carers. It does not cover encouraging physical activity for particular conditions; this is included in condition‑specific quality standards where appropriate. For more information see the topic overview.
NICE has developed guidance and associated quality standards on patient experience in adult NHS services and service user experience in adult mental health services (see the NICE Pathways on patient experience in adult NHS services and service user experience in adult mental health services), which should be considered alongside this quality standard. They specify that people receiving care should be treated with dignity, have opportunities to discuss their preferences, and be supported to understand their options and make fully informed decisions. They also cover the provision of information to patients and service users. Quality statements on these aspects of patient experience are not usually included in topic‑specific quality standards. However, recommendations in the development sources for quality standards that impact on patient experience and are specific to the topic are considered during quality statement development.
The quality standard for physical activity specifies that services should be commissioned from and coordinated across all relevant agencies. An integrated approach is fundamental to encouraging physical activity in all people who are in contact with the NHS.
The Health and Social Care Act 2012 sets out a clear expectation that the care system should consider NICE quality standards in planning and delivering services, as part of a general duty to secure continuous improvement in quality. Commissioners and providers of health and social care should refer to the library of NICE quality standards when designing high‑quality services.
The quality standard should be read in the context of national and local guidelines on training and competencies. All healthcare professionals involved in encouraging physical activity in all people who are in contact with the NHS should have sufficient and appropriate training and competencies to deliver the actions and interventions described in the quality standard. Healthcare professionals delivering the NHS Health Check should demonstrate competence in line with the NHS Health Check competence framework (2014).
British Medical Journal (BMJ) Learning has developed a suite of free, continuing professional development (CPD)‑accredited modules covering motivational interviewing techniques, and modules on physical activity and health covering the science and specific clinical conditions in association with Public Health England.
The Department of Health's (2012) report on The NHS's role in the public's health states that every healthcare professional should 'make every contact count'. This means that they should use every contact that they have with a person to maintain or improve their mental and physical health and wellbeing where possible, whatever their specialty or the purpose of the contact. The report also emphasises the importance of the NHS workforce improving their own health in order to enable them to act as role models. It is easier for people in contact with the NHS to accept messages from its staff if it is clear they follow these messages for their own health.
Quality statements on staff training and competency are not usually included in quality standards. However, recommendations in the development sources on specific types of training for the topic that exceed standard professional training will be considered during quality statement development.
Quality standards recognise the important role families and carers have in encouraging physical activity in all people who are in contact with the NHS. If appropriate, healthcare professionals should ensure that family members and carers are involved in the decision‑making process about interventions and initiatives that encourage physical activity.