The country’s first ever National Sports and Exercise Medicine Centre of Excellence will be developed after £30 million funding was announced today by the Health Secretary Andrew Lansley.
The Centre will be truly national – promoting sport and exercise medicine – made up of three network partners around the country. The Health Secretary made the announcement today while visiting Loughborough University, one of the network partners.
The Centre will help more people to be more active, treat injuries caused by exercise and conditions associated with lack of exercise. This will mean people who are injured return to physical health and work quickly. It will also help people use the benefits of physical activity to cope with existing medical conditions, such as diabetes.
The establishment of the Centre will also fulfil one of the Government’s key 2012 Games bid commitments and will be a lasting legacy of the Games.
Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said:
“Hosting the Olympics is a once in a life-time opportunity for Britain and it provides a great opportunity for the NHS too.
“I am pleased to commit £30 million funding for the first ever National Sport and Exercise Medicine Centre of Excellence for England. This will not only help get more people active but it will keep them active too.
“Being fit and active offers huge health benefit. It is crucial we encourage as many people as possible to be more active more often. We also need to help people recover from injuries quickly so they can stay active.
“The Centre will share research findings and best practice with the entire NHS so that the whole country benefits. This will ensure we achieve a real Olympic legacy in the health service.”
Professor Myra Nimmo, Dean of the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences:
“We’re delighted by today’s announcement, which underlines the very important role that Loughborough and our partners in the East Midlands’ Centre play in the development of sport and exercise medicine in the UK.
“The co-location in the new centre of university researchers, clinicians and service delivery provides a new model in healthcare provision, allowing researchers to work in close contact with the people who ultimately benefit from their work. This new way of working will crucially enable us to speed up the translation of pioneering academic research into clinical practice.”
Sir Robert Naylor, chief executive of University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (UCLH), said:
“University College Hospital has already been designated as one of the ‘Olympic hospitals’ for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and we are keen to play our part in what promises to be an extraordinary year.
“We have assembled a team of experts in sports and exercise health which will form the backbone of a lasting Olympic legacy for professional and amateur sportsmen and women in London and beyond.”
Sir Andrew Cash, Chief Executive, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said:
"It is fantastic news that Sheffield will be one of three hubs forming the National Sports and Exercise Medicine Centre of Excellence.
The focus of the Sheffield arm of the three Olympic Legacy centres of excellence is centred on the promotion of physical activity and improvement of the health and productivity of the people of Sheffield. The City is well placed to ensure this project is successful. Sheffield has world class sport and medical facilities complemented by world class research and educational programmes in the Cities two Universities. In addition Sheffield has award winning public health and voluntary sector programmes aimed at engaging "at risk" groups and communities and reducing health in-equalities.