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Healthy Lifestyle's Fit Squad

The Community Nutrition, Weight Management and Physical Activity Service, which is also known as the Healthy Lifestyle Service’s Fit Squad, run free weight management and physical activity programmes across Central, West Lancashire and Hyndburn. These schemes are aimed at patients who require weight management advice and support with increasing their levels of physical activity within their everyday lives.

  • Food 4 Thought free weight management course - A seven week programme designed for overweight clients with BMIs over 25 to help change eating habits through education, activity and behaviour change techniques. 1:1 or group support continues for up to 12 months after the initial course.

  • Activity for Life Physical Activity Scheme - A GP exercise on referral scheme. It is a 12 week supported scheme enabling individuals to take on a tailored exercise programme to increase the amount of activity in their daily lives.

The service provides training for staff, key partners and community groups in nutrition using healthy eating principles, weight management and physical activity aims to build capacity to deliver interventions to improve healthy weight. 

The service also provides Workplace Health Enhanced/Specialist Weight Management Programme, Community Nutrition Advice, Education Health & Community Engagement Events and Health Awareness Sessions. This is achieved by using a variety of prevention, training/teaching and treatment strategies including behavioural change techniques and community engagement approaches.

In Hyndburn only, we provide:

  • Cardiac Rehabilitation - A 12 week group education and physical activity programme for people that suffer with heart conditions. To attend this programme you must be referred by a health professional.

  • Exercise and Pregnancy - Physical activity classes for pregnant ladies.

  • Stepping Out - Weekly-organised led walks within the local area open to everyone, ranging from short 30 minute walks to longer walks. For more information visit the Stepping Out page.

Food for Thought

Anybody 16 plus who has a Body Mass Index (BMI) over 25 can self-refer into the weight management service through the Fitsquad website, by phone or by email.

Where the service is provided

We run Food for Thought Sessions from various locations including:

  • St Marys Health Centre, Cop Lane, Penwortham
  • Minerva Health Centre
  • Highfield Children’s Centre
  • Leyland Clinic, Yewlands Drive, Leyland
  • Sandy Lane Health Centre, Skelmersdale
  • Burscough Health Centre, Burscough
  • Tarleton Health Centre, Tarleton

Exercise Referral Scheme

Patients will not be eligible for referral if they are currently engaged in a regular routine of moderate intensity physical activity, i.e. being active on three or more occasions per week, for thirty minutes or more and/or accessing a leisure facility.

Clients accessing the scheme must be:

  • Over 16 years of age
  • Deemed physically inactive (those engaging in less than 30 minutes in total of moderate intensity physical activity per week)

Plus one of the following:

  • Cardiac complications (Heart Attack, Stable Angina, Artery Bypass/Stents)
  • CHD Risk (Risk score of 20% or higher in 10 years)
  • Weight (BMI 25-39) - note for consideration we would encourage those of higher BMI to take part in the other elements of the service offered (e.g. graded walks)
  • Other (Diabetes, Stroke, Peripheral Vascular Disease, COPD, relevant screening programmes)
  • Mental Health (Moderate anxiety/depression/stress, stable, under GP/psychological therapist for treatment)
  • Cancer - local pathways in development to identify specific referral criteria

Sources of Referral

Direct referrals can only be accepted from:

  • GP and Practice Nurse
  • Cardiac Rehabilitation (phase III)
  • Diabetes Specialist
  • Screening programmes
  • Pulmonary Rehabilitation

Any health professional can indirectly refer to the service and medical clearance from the patient's GP will be sought.

Where the service is provided

We run Exercise on Referral sessions from:

  • All Seasons Leisure Centre, Chorley
  • Bamber Bridge Leisure Centre, Bamber Bridge
  • Leyland Leisure Centre, Leyland
  • Penwortham Leisure Centre
  • Burscough Tennis and Racquet Club, Burscough
  • Park Pool, Ormskirk
  • Banks Leisure Club, Banks
  • NYE Bevan, Skelmersdale

Who the service is available to

The service is available to residents of:

Cardiac Rehabilitation

Community Weight Management
Hyndburn, Preston, Chorley and South Ribble

Enhanced Service
Chorley, South Ribble and Preston. The Enhanced Service runs from Minerva Health Centre and we work from various community centres and settings across the area.

Exercise and Pregnancy

Exercise on Referral
Hyndburn, Chorley, South Ribble and West Lancashire

Preston, Chorley, South Ribble and West Lancashire

Workplace Health
Chorley, South Ribble and West Lancashire

If a client is a resident outside of this locality, then they will be referred to alternative providers, as appropriate.

Where we are based and how to contact us

Central and West Lancashire

We are based at:

The Minerva Health Centre
Lowthorpe Road

Tel: 01772 644158


Tel:  01254 283340

Tel.  01254 380448
Email: - See more at:
Tel.  01254 380448
Email: - See more at:
For any general enquiries relating to the Healthy Lifestyles Service;
Tel.  01254 380448
Email: - See more at:

Useful Links

British Heart Foundation

Department of Health's Change4Life campaign

Diabetes UK Charity

Fit Squad website

Hyndburn Fit Squad Newsletter October 2013

Information about getting fitter, losing weight and eating more healthily can be found on the NHS Choices website 

Patient Information Leaflets

With our leaflets we aim to give you information about the Trust in general, our services and treatments, and to provide useful information for service users and their carers.

Please follow this link for more information