The long-term disabled neurological patient population face barriers to engaging in regular, self-managed physical activity in the community. The lack of inclusivity in community leisure and sport facilities currently discriminates against this patient population, preventing the long-term disabled from fully participating in the Welsh Government’s own health promotion campaigns such as Change4Life. Due to lack of opportunity to access physical activity, long-term disabled neurological patients suffer enforced inactivity, which is linked to poor physical and mental health outcomes. We feel that the Welsh Government needs to do more to help this currently neglected section of the community. This could be achieved by a meaningful, patient-led, pan-Wales reform of long term Neuro-Rehabilitation provision. Also required is a concerted effort to make community leisure facilities more inclusive (through provision of genuinely inclusive fitness equipment and exercise programs, for example). Government investment in the continued professional development of leisure centre staff, specifically with Level 3 inclusive exercise training, would promote up-skilling and create a lucrative inclusive fitness industry of its own in Wales. By investing in inclusive fitness, we believe that the Welsh Government could help the long-term disabled to manage their own conditions, which will doubtless lead to positive physical and mental health outcomes, and ultimately, cost savings for the Health Service.
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