News & Insights 24 December 2020

Christmas 2020 Roundup

There’s no doubting that 2020 has been a peculiar year and we have all faced many challenges, both personal and professional. This Christmas time is no different and with many plans having been dashed at very late notice, it is worth remembering the adversity that we have already overcome this year.

In March we spoke about continuing care during Covid-19, the importance of physical activity and movement, and the need to empower people to manage their own health. We have witnessed remarkable resilience and motivation amongst our clients, which has reinforced our mission to make peoples’ personal everyday physical activity an accessible and effective medicine for managing health. I’m proud of what we have been able to achieve in the face of the pandemic, so, in addition to wishing you all a Merry (and Safe) Christmas, and the best wishes for 2021, I also wanted to reflect on what we have achieved in this most unusual of years.

Supporting People to Keep Healthy at Home:

At the beginning of the year we launched two projects, working with the West of England AHSN and their partners to support people to Keep Healthy at Home. The purpose was to evaluate KiActiv® in two separate real-world healthcare pathways, building on what we have already achieved in Long Term Conditions, to generate the evidence for wider adoption. You can learn more about the West of England AHSN’s Future Challenges here.

  • Replenish-ME is a project designed to help those diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) / Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) develop a greater understanding of their day-to-day activities and help manage energy levels.
  • Moving to Better Health (MBH) is a partnership between Sirona Care & Health that aims to help people living with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) through everyday physical activity.

Adapting to the Lockdown 1.0:

For many of us, the restrictions announced by the Prime Minister in his address to the nation on Monday 23rd March were totally unprecedented. Amongst the many wider implications, we had to move quickly to fully remote working, with no downtime to our client services.

As the potential impact of Covid-19 restrictions on peoples’ physical activity levels became more and more apparent, we became increasingly concerned about the effects this would have on peoples’ mental and physical health.

As usual, the focus was placed on the role of exercise, ignoring the benefits of everyday movement and its accessibility to all. With our partners, through a number of blogs and webinars, we tried to do our bit increase awareness and improve the understanding of how physical activity, of all types and intensities, was vital to managing our health.

The New Healthcare Landscape:

As we know, the impact of Covid-19 has been felt in pretty much every aspect of our lives, and its impact on the NHS and service providers has been just as broad. Across all of our work with Long Term Conditions and Rehabilitation, the pathways we were integrating with changed, as did the needs of the providers and most importantly the patients.

We had always believed that we could provide new, cost-effective, digital pathways where physical activity is a key component, but none of us were expecting a global pandemic to be the trigger that accelerated our delivery of this vision. It is a credit to all of our healthcare partners and the team here at KiActiv® that we have been able to adapt to the changing needs and future outlook of services, and continue to support patients through a turbulent time for mental and physical health. We recently discussed some of the impacts of Covid-19 on our programmes with the West of England AHSN and you can read more about that here.

Working with the West of England AHSN we were able to respond to local needs – rapidly setting up a small project in Wiltshire to support patients who no longer had access to face to face Pulmonary Rehabilitation, due to the lockdown.

Here are some further examples of services we have continued to deliver throughout 2020:

  • Digital Self-Management for Long Term Conditions
  • Covid-19 Rehabilitation
  • Prehabilitation for Surgical Pathways
  • Supporting People with Lymphoedema and Lipoedema to Self-Care
  • Phase 3 Cardiac Rehabilitation

Building for a Better Future:

There has been a remarkable response to the Covid-19 crisis by so many people within healthcare and also more broadly, and we are proud to have played a small part by supporting people to manage their health at home. In the latter part of this year we’ve received support from the Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre at Sheffield Hallam University and SimDH at London South Bank University, to help us accelerate our growth and benefit more people in 2021 and beyond.

We are committed to re-establishing everyday physical activity as the foundation of a healthy lifestyle, and this year has made us even more determined in the delivery of our vision. So this Christmas, and into the New Year, remember that every move you make matters for your health.

Merry Christmas from all of us at KiActiv®.

Tommy Parker, CEO