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Mental Health Hospital teams up with Crawley Town Football Club to promote physical fitness

Mental health patients given a new ‘goal’ to improve their physical fitness.



A mental health hospital in Crawley has joined forces with Crawley Town Football Club to help promote patients’ physical health and wellbeing

Weekly football training sessions are hosted at Langley Green Hospital courtesy of Crawley Town FC’s Community Foundation. The hospital is run by Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, which provides specialist mental health and learning disability services for all ages in Sussex as well as mental health services for young people in Hampshire.

The sessions, which have been running since summer 2017, offer patients of any age and footballing ability the chance to learn new skills and have fun whilst getting some all-important exercise.

In return, staff, including Occupational Therapist Steven Rowley who set up the initiative, provided mental health awareness training to all of the coaches at the club.

Steven said: “It’s really important that people have access to a range of activities to help keep their bodies active during their time in hospital. When someone is struggling with their mental health it can be really easy to focus on that alone, but we all know that the mind and body are intrinsically linked, so we have to make sure we’re looking after both aspects of a person’s wellbeing during their stay.

“Exercise needs to be fun and that’s why these sessions are so popular. Even people who’ve never played football before come away with a smile on their face. And the great thing is that the sessions don’t stop once someone is well enough to return home. Crawley Town FC host community sessions one afternoon a week, which are preceded by employment skills sessions where people can get advice on things like writing a CV and searching for work. Combining the two is really helping to support people’s recovery and integration back into their local community.”

The patients are put through their paces at the weekly sessions by Community Foundation Co-ordinator, Adam Wicking.

Adam said: “The sessions provide a bit of relief and respite for service users. It’s great to have a space for enjoyable exercise and to interact without talking, if people prefer.

“I really love working with and meeting so many different people. I have such interesting conversations when running these groups and look forward to the sessions.”

A patient who regularly attends the sessions said: “It is fantastic having football here at the hospital. It is a good way of releasing some of that energy and it helps distract me from what’s going on in my head.”

Health & Wellbeing

Local NHS urging locals to get jab as flu rates shoot up 85%

The local NHS is urging people to get their flu jab and highlighting treatment advice, after flu cases shot up by 85 per cent within the space of a week in England.



Health bosses warn this winter’s influenza outbreak is now beginning to take hold and urging those eligible to get their flu jab now – GP consultation rate in the South East for flu like illnesses has risen from 10.3 per 100,000 to 14.2 in just one week, which is adding more pressure on local health services.

Flu symptoms come on very quickly and can be a very unpleasant illness with symptoms including fever, stuffy nose dry cough, sore throat, aching muscles and joints and extreme tiredness, which can often last several days.

Flu can’t be treated with antibiotics – flu is caused by viruses and antibiotics only work against bacteria.

Those who get the flu will get better more quickly if they:

  • Get plenty of rest and sleep
  • Make sure they keep warm
  • Take paracetamol or ibuprofen
  • Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration

Gareth Howells, Deputy Director of Urgent Care and Systems Resilience for Central Sussex and East Surrey Commissioning Alliance-North, said

The best form of protection against flu is to get the vaccine, and to practice good respiratory and hand hygiene. It isn’t too late to get the flu vaccine so make sure you take up the offer if you’re eligible, to protect yourself and vulnerable people around you.

“We are advising those who already have flu-like symptoms to rest, drink plenty of water and take paracetamol where needed.”

In order to reduce the impact of flu on local NHS services, residents and visitors to the city are being asked to make sure they use the right service for their medical needs, freeing up emergency care for those most in need.

The NHS Minor Injuries Unit Queen Victoria Hospital and Horsham Hospital are available for treatment without appointments; the Urgent Treatment Centre at Crawley Hospital is also available 24 hours a day, NHS 111 is available all day every day and is available to check symptoms online around the clock.

A pharmacist can also help with flu, offering treatment advice and recommend flu remedies, and give guidance on giving medicines to children. No appointment necessary to see a local pharmacist and most have private consultation areas, and will say if you need further medical attention. fffffffffffff

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