The current Framework April 2017-March 2021 was produced in response to the then (2015) new Government Strategy, Sporting Future and the subsequent Sport England Strategy, Towards an Active Nation (2016-21).
The purpose of the framework is to:
- provide a direction of travel for sport and physical activity in Kent and Medway
- reflect, compliment and support other local, regional and national plans and strategies
- help partners in developing their own local plans, policies and strategies
- support partners when developing projects and applying for funding.
The Government Strategy, Sporting Future, focuses on what more can be done to make a physically active life truly transformative, in particular the benefits that sport can bring to people and to society, built around physical and mental well-being, individual, social, community and economic development.
Chief Medical Officers’ (CMO) physical activity guidelines
During the period of the last Framework the Chief Medical Officers’ (CMO) physical activity guidelines have been reviewed and refreshed. They present thresholds for the achievement of optimal health benefits at the recommended levels of physical activity in terms of strength, moderate and vigorous physical activity, and balance activities.
Evidence now demonstrates that there is no minimum amount of physical activity required to achieve some health benefits, “some is good, more is better”. Guidelines are available for under-5s, Children and Young people (5-18 years), Adults (19-64 years), Older Adults (65+), disabled adults and during pregnancy and postpartum
Sport England Strategy
Sport England is currently consulting on its new ten year Strategy, due to be published in early 2021. The Kent and Medway Framework is being revised in line with the emerging Sport England priorities, which are as follows:
- Strengthening communities: focusing on sport and physical activity’s ability to create greater community development and social integration
- Recover and reinvent recovering from the biggest shock to the status quo in a lifetime
- Positive experiences for children and young people: unrelenting focus on positive experiences as the foundations for an active life
- Active environments: creating the places and spaces that make it easier for people to be active
- An active life for a healthy life: strengthening the connection between sport and physical activity and health and wellbeing, to enable more people to live an active life so they can live and age well.
These areas for action are to be underpinned by the following:
- Governance and safeguarding
- Leadership and workforce development
- Insight and learning
- Digital and technology
Sport England Active Lives data
As highlighted by Sport England Active Lives data, over the period of our current Framework for Kent and Medway, there has been:
- a significant increase (2.9%) in the percentage of the adult population (16+) that are active (doing 150+mins/week) – 64.1% are currently active. However, the picture is not consistent across the county with some districts experiencing a decrease in those that are active.
- a decrease (0.9% – not significant) in the percentage of the adult population that are inactive (doing <30mins/week). However, 25.1% of the population is currently inactive. Again, the picture is not consistent countywide, with some districts showing an increase in inactivity.
We also know that countywide:
- 31% of children and young people are ‘less active’ – doing less than an average of 30 minutes per day. 46.5% are active – doing an average of 60 minutes per day.
- whilst levels of inactivity have decreased amongst those with a disability (pre Covid-19), there is still a significant gap, with 39.1% of those with one or more disabilities likely to be inactive and only 21.5% of those with no disabilities
- there is a notable gap in terms of those from lower socio-economic groups (those in routine/semi-routine jobs and those who are long-term unemployed or have never worked (NS-SEC 6-8)) that are inactive – 33%, compared to those in the higher groups (NS-SEC 1-2) – 17.8%
- there are higher levels of inactivity amongst the older age groups (75+)
- there are higher levels of inactivity amongst Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities, particularly Asian (excluding Chinese) and Black backgrounds.
Furthermore, as a result of the Pandemic:
- inequalities in activity have got worse
- activity levels amongst children are dropping
- traditional, structured and indoor sport and activity has been hard hit
- the infrastructure of providers is seriously under threat.
The following are all key developments since the publication of the current Strategic Framework and all provide significant opportunities to build in and promote physical activity across the county.
- There is a new Integrated Care System for Kent and Medway, which includes:
- a Single commissioning group for Kent and Medway, led by local doctors, to take a bird’s eye view and look at where we can tackle shared challenges together
- Four integrated care partnerships drawing together all provider NHS organisations in a given area and working more closely with social care (Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley; East Kent; Medway and Swaleand West Kent).
- Forty two primary care networks.A primary care network (PCN) consists of groups of general practices working together, and in partnership with community, mental health, social care, pharmacy, hospital and voluntary services in their local area, to offer more personalised, coordinated health and social care to the people living in their area.
- The social prescribing and community navigation networks have developed and expanded across the county, as a way to keep people well and independent by connecting them to community based support and services.
- A Whole Systems Approach to Obesity is being implemented for Kent and Medway to ensure all relevant partners work together to develop and deliver a long term, system wide approach to tackle obesity, with physical activity having a key role to play.
- Everyday Active has been developed by Kent Sport to help people in Kent and Medway who are looking to become more active but might not know where to start. The website also provides support to help professionals have productive conversations about physical activity and equips them to provide appropriate activity suggestions. It has been designed in collaboration with local communities and partners in the health, leisure and community sectors.