Information for Health Professionals

Our community based falls prevention programme for older people at risk of falling provides a ‘step down’ service for those exiting the NHS falls prevention service or a step up for people unsteady on their feet wishing to prevent a fall.

A 24-week rolling programme offering weekly input for patients at risk of falling. We offer weekly strength and balance classes in the community, online classes and telephone support plus home exercises are provided for patients during COVID restrictions and for those unable to attend community sessions.

NICE compliant and based on the LLT/ProFane model, AHS Wellbeing are commissioned by Mid Sussex Wellbeing Service, Adur & Worthing Wellbeing Service and Arun Wellbeing Service to deliver each of their strength and balance courses called The Wellbalanced Programme.

Here are some commonly asked questions to provide you with further information on our programme:

What services are available?

All new referrals are screened and assessed by a Postural Stability Instructor, then signposted to the most appropriate service to suit their needs and ability.

Mid Sussex community based classes at;

  • Chequer Mead, East Grinstead
  • Centenary Hall, Haywards Heath
  • Sidney West, Burgess Hill
  • The Triangle Leisure Centre, Burgess Hill
  • Age Concern, Hassocks

Adur & Worthing community based classes at;

  • The Shoreham Centre, Shoreham
  • The Heene Community Centre, Worthing

Arun community based classes at;

  • 3 new classes are starting soon in Arun

Chichester community based classes at;

  • 3 new classes are starting soon in Chichester

Online classes

  • 4 live virtual classes per week. Additional classes will be provided during Lockdown.
  • Daily pre-recorded videos on AHS Wellbeing
  • Monthly Virtual coffee morning

Home Exercise Support

If participants are unable to join community or online classes and when classes are cancelled due to latest government restrictions, we provide the following support;

  • Home 1-2-1 visits, when government restrictions allow
  • Weekly telephone or virtual call with a PSI to provide support, discuss progress and agree an appropriate exercise plan
  • Home Exercise Pack (Exercise leaflets, stretch band)
  • Recorded Video’s with 6 programmes of exercise including
    • Steady Start
    • Moving on Up
    • Strong & Steady
    • Super Six
    • Super Stamina
    • Super Strength

Who delivers the strength & balance training?

Each session is led by a qualified Postural Stability Instructor and a support instructor.

What is the capacity of each class?

Community classes normally hold up to 20 people, however during the current COVID-19 situation, community classes are only held if the latest guidelines allow and with a limit of 4 participants per class, plus 2 instructors.

A maximum of 6 people can attend each online class.

You can find further details of our services on our about page. Once referred, we will contact participants to assess them and will discuss the most suitable option for them.

How much does it cost?

Each programme is funded, participants are asked for a small contribution as follows;

Mid Sussex: Participants pay £24 for the 24 week course, payable in 2 instalments.

Adur & Worthing: Participants pay £12 for the 24 week course, payable in 2 instalments.

Arun: Participants pay £12 for the 24 week course, payable in 2 instalments.

Chichester: Participants pay £12 for the 24 week course, payable in 2 instalments.

What measures are taken to ensure classes are COVID safe?

To comply with COVID-19 restrictions, face to face classes will only be held when the alert level is medium or below in accordance with government restrictions. To ensure classes run safely, the following procedures in place;

  • Community classes are limited to 4 per class plus 2 instructors
  • Track & Trace is in place.
  • All areas are sanitised prior to and after any face to face sessions.
  • PPE is in place and all participants asked to wear face coverings.
  • Social distancing is maintained through the class.
  • Rooms are kept well ventilated.
  • Separate entrance and exit routes are in place, as per venue protocol.
  • Participants are advised they should only attend if they meet all of the following criteria:
    • They have not been told to stay home by a health professional.
    • Can travel to and from the venue without increasing their risk.
    • Do not have any COVID-19 symptoms.
    • Have not travelled recently.
    • Have not been in contact with someone who had has symptoms.

If classes are cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions or if participants are unable to attend, they will receive weekly telephone and online support plus a home exercise pack. Our range of support options offer flexibility, allowing us to provide support relevant to the patients needs and current government guidelines.

Who can attend the Wellbalanced Programme?

The online & community-based strength & balance programme will be targeted at those:

  • Identified to be vulnerable or mildly to moderately frail on the Rockwood Clinical Frailty Scale (Levels 4, 5 and 6), but are below the level of need for specialist care.
  • Feeling less steady on their feet.
  • Who find it harder to rise from a chair, or to use the stairs.
  • Referred by a GP, Healthcare Worker or other professional.
  • A patient who has had a previous fall will be suitable for this programme if there has been no change in function. If there has been a change in function the patient should be referred to the Falls & Fracture Prevention Service.

The Wellbalanced programme is designed to help people who are starting to feel more vulnerable and unsteady, to feel stronger and more confident.

Medical Exclusions

  • Unstable angina or uncontrolled heart disease
  • Tachycardia or uncontrolled arrhythmia
  • Resting systolic BP>200mmHg or diastolic BP >110mmHg
  • Severe Parkinson’s disease
  • Severe breathlessness or dizziness
  • Uncontrolled or poorly controlled epilepsy
  • Uncontrolled or poorly controlled asthma / COPD
  • Unmanaged pain
  • Acute systemic illness (e.g. cancers)
  • Severe Visual Impairment (under investigation)
  • Any other uncontrolled condition
  • Four or more medications not checked by GP >6mths

Functional Exclusions

  • Patient has suffered at least one fall that has lead to significant change in function and has not been addressed by a health professional
  • Functional limiting diseases: such as severe stroke
  • Cognition: Dementia, Alzheimer’s or severe cognitive impairment (unable to follow simple instructions)
  • Sit to Stand: Patient is unable to rise from a chair independently, without assistance and stand unaided
  • Mobility: Patient is unable to mobilise independently.
  • Patient is immobile or walks with an aid and the support of two Carers

If any of the above apply, your patient is NOT suitable for this programme at this time. It is advisable to refer your patient to another service.

How do I refer a Patient?

Patients can be referred using the relevant referral form for each district:

Mid Sussex Referral Forms

Please download and send securely to wellbeing@midsussex.gcsx.gov.uk.

Worthing & Adur, Arun and Chichester

Please download and send securely to info@wellbalancedprogramme.co.uk

Patients in Adur & Worthing, Arun and Chichester can also be referred via SystmOne, EMIS and One Call and patients can self refer.

Referrals are triaged for the most appropriate level of the programme.  For further information please call 01444 657099.

How is the programme evaluated?

Participants are assessed at week 1, 12 and 24 using the following methods;

Results are evaluated quarterly in conjunction with the Wellbeing Team for each contract.

What happens at the end of the 24-week programme?

Participants are encouraged to continue with exercise and will be signposted to suitable follow on classes or activities they can attend, including our Age Well classes available at ahswellbeing.co.uk.

This is followed up with a review at 3 months and 6 months to understand if participants have continued to exercise

Healthy lifestyle support services can be found by calling:

  • Mid Sussex Wellbeing on 01444 477191 or visit their website
  • Adur & Worthing Wellbeing on 01903 221450 or visit their website.
  • Arun Wellbeing, visit their website
  • Chichester Wellbeing, visit their website

Downloads & Useful Links

Referral Guide

Poster & Flyer:

Useful Links:

NICE

Later Life Research Papers

Otago Exercise Manual

Please contact us for further information.