Prescribing Movement for Perioperative Care

New Moving Medicine resource launches to help busy healthcare professionals to support people who are waiting for operations to be active.

The Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine UK are delighted to announce the launch of a new resource, which forms part of the existing Moving Medicine online resources. Prescribing Movement for Perioperative care supports healthcare professionals to have conversations with patients who have just had, or are waiting for surgery, to encourage them to be active.

We know that around 10 million people have surgery with the NHS in the UK each year and complications from surgery are 4 times higher in people who are physically inactive. Healthcare professionals can play a leading role in supporting patients to move more, and the award winning consultation guides are built in 1, 5 and more minute options, to enable busy healthcare professionals to choose which is most relevant for them, and helps to provide clear and consistent messaging about the benefits of physical activity for people who have had or are waiting for surgery.

There are many benefits to being physically active for people who need surgery, including reducing post operative complications and length of hospital stay and the Moving Medicine team have worked with clinicians, experts, academics, charities and expert patients to build an evidence based, perioperative specific resource for healthcare professionals. This free online resource is built in an award winning behavioural change framework and supports the healthcare professional to have these conversations.

Dr Catherine Lester, Moving Medicine Clinical Director says ‘We are pleased to have been able to develop a Moving Medicine Perioperative Care resource to help support clinicians and patients and would like to thank the incredible team who helped us to achieve this.’

Jamie Blackshaw, National Lead for Physical Activity and Healthy Weight – Office for Health Improvement and Disparities comments: ’We believe that this Moving Medicine module will become increasingly important in supporting people needing surgery to be active and feel supported by their healthcare professionals.’

Scarlett McNally, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon and Deputy Director of the Centre for Perioperative Care said: “It was a pleasure to represent the Royal College of Surgeons of England on this work that will have great benefits for patients. Doing exercise before an operation is highly effective at reducing complications and at getting the best out of surgery. This new website gives tips for patients and for surgical teams about how to do this. It is about using ‘the teachable moment’ and also treating the waiting list as a preparation list.”

Notes to editors
• The resource is available at
• Launched in 2018, Moving Medicine is a free, evidence based resource for Healthcare professionals to give brief advice on physical activity.
• Moving Medicine is an initiative by the Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine UK in partnership with Public Health England, Sport England and the National Lottery and forms part of OHID’s Moving Healthcare Professionals programme.
• Moving Medicine won the Royal College of Physicians Excellence in Patient Care award for Person Centred care in 2020. The Active Hospital section on the website was one of only 4 shortlisted finalists for the Quality Improvement Category at the same awards.