Walton win gold

A Merseyside hospital has won gold and silver for its Olympian efforts in improving the health of staff.

The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust introduced a new health and wellbeing strategy in order to encourage staff to take part in sports and physical activity.

The hospital started by setting up zumba and weight management classes and went on to organise a regional sports day for around 400 NHS staff.

The first NHS North West Games was staged at Kirkby Sports College last September and attended by staff from 17 NHS Trusts, taking part in sports including netball, football, touch rugby, badminton and rounders, plus taster sessions in zumba, table tennis and pilates.

This triggered an explosion in after-work sport and exercise classes in hospitals around the region.

 A gold ribbon mark has now been awarded by the NHS Sport and Physical Activity Challenge to the Trust for its health and wellbeing programme; plus a silver ribbon mark for the NHS NW Games.

Director of Human Resources Amanda Oates, who has led the health and wellbeing strategy, said: “It is fantastic to see how passionate the staff are about getting involved in the new sports and fitness clubs.”

 The NHS Challenge, led by NHS Chief Executive Sir David Nicholson, aims to get as many people as possible involved in sport and physical activity in the run up to the London 2012 Games.

 This year The Walton Centre is again leading on the NHS North West Games, with more Trusts from across the North West taking part and competing in an expanded programme of activities.