Release date: 17 January 2019
Hospital patients have been shown the benefits of cycling through a Bikeability and Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust initiative.
Patients at the Chichester Centre, a specialist mental health inpatient hospital, have received on-road cycle training and basic bike maintenance tuition from the county council’s Bikeability team.
Ed Clark, council Cycle Training Development Officer, said: “The initiative was for patients aiming to gain the health benefits from cycling as well as the independent travel it provides.
“We have sourced and built a small range of cycles for varied use and have supported the Chichester Centre with the purchase of bikes and helmets for the project.
“The sessions have focused on trainees’ route planning, taking into account each individual’s travel needs. This could be a journey into town or the park and, eventually, longer journeys, such as the daily commute – things some people may take for granted but can be a real boost for health.”
The Chichester Centre is a purpose-built hospital for people who need rehabilitation and treatment within a secure environment.
A hospital spokesperson said: “Within the centre, the Working Together Group is a patient-led group of ward representatives and peer support workers, who work on projects with staff to improve the quality of life and environment for all patients.
“The group decided that it would be a good idea to acquire some bikes for patients to use when they have leave from the hospital - for example, to get to town, the shops or the gym. This related to a physical health initiative in the centre and increases the opportunity for exercise.
“They contacted the council’s Bikeability team, who came to meet with the group and helped us select and buy the bikes and equipment to use them, as well as offering bike maintenance sessions for patients to learn how to look after them.”
The plan now is for patients to be assessed for the Bikeability skills tuition and offered sessions to learn how to ride safely.
Bikeability, formerly Cycling Proficiency, is well known for its work in teaching children how to ride safely. It also provides training for adults to the National Standard of Cyclist Training. These sessions focus on how to deal with modern traffic conditions.
Each session is specific to the trainee, so it could take place on the commute to work, or cover a recreational route riders may wish to cycle in the future with family and friends.
For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
To find out more about the services that Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust provides across the South of England, go to www.sussexpartnership.nhs.uk
Pictured: Ed Clark, council Cycle Training Development Officer, demonstrating bicycle maintenance skills