Increasing take up of local physical activity by Diabetes patients


Digital CoProduction worked with 2 Social Prescribing Link workers at two PCNs in the Waltham Forest area - Central Walthamstow and South Leytonstone as part of their work with pre-diabetic and diabetes patients to encourage them to take up physical activity. 

We set out to use OpenActive’s activity open data to make this more efficient and easier for the PCN Social Prescribing Link Worker and also to improve the chances of take up from the patient. 

Our Vision

Aligned with our vision &  product set that delivers a community catalogue with supporting tools that allow citizens, family and professionals to find the right support at the right time for the personal needs of the individual, we created Activity Finder. 

Matching Finding and Publishing

The purpose of this piece of work was to test whether the approach will increase take up of community-based physical activity groups and sessions by people with diabetes or pre-diabetes.  By adopting the open data standard and including some additional information about each activity, There are lots of people who are seeking physical activity and lots of people offering physical activity.  The OpenActive data standard creates the join up between people running sessions and those looking to attend similar sessions.

Our pilot was about creating the opportunity for connections between people looking for physical activity (in this instance social prescribers) and those running physical activity sessions and then providing that information to the diabetes patients.  Part of our set of tools includes a data assurance process to help increase the accuracy and reliability of the information itself.  In our work elsewhere across Lancashire we have demonstrated the impact this has upon ensuring that the information is more widely trusted by all users.

So what?

Adoption of OpenActive and our tools delivers a better experience for users and citizens - they are often frustrated by inaccurate information and frustrated that they have to search across multiple lists and do not get succinct relevant information such as location, timings, what to wear, how to contact the organiser for example.

Providing the right information should increase take up of the right preventative support and create the sustainable mechanisms to build on the increased community activity during COVID.  

From an efficiency perspective, we are also creating capacity in frontline workers - as they spend less time searching and hence more time supporting people and we are reducing the overheard of people maintaining multiple lists of what is available locally.

Future of our Product

Currently, the product is a service or activity finder tool for use by frontline workers that uses both the Open Active and Open Referral UK data standards that are endorsed by Sport England and by DCMS, NHSx and MHCLG.  We are looking to add the self-serve modules in the coming 12 months and also adding the facility for people to search for advice/guidance and to search for local assets such as parks, playground, museums.

Download the full London Sport case study