Strathclyde researcher in Scottish Health Award-winning team

Dr Alexandra Mavroeidi (fourth right) with the Think Activity team at the Scottish Health Awards

A University of Strathclyde researcher is a partner in a project promoting physical activity in hospital patients, which has been named the winner of a national award.

Dr Alexandra Mavroeidi, a Senior Lecturer in Physical Activity for Health at Strathclyde, was involved in the Think Activity Project, which won in the Top Team category of the Scottish Health Awards.  

The project offered activities to patients at Kello Hospital in Biggar, South Lanarkshire, with the aim of offsetting the negative impact of sedentary behaviour. These ranged from standing up and sitting down during television adverts and a ‘virtual climb’ of the nearby Tinto Hill, in which patients at the community hospital took the number of steps equivalent to scaling the 2333 ft peak.

Significant impact

The award is made to “a team who strive to deliver the best possible quality of health and social care for people in Scotland.”

Members of the team were from NHS Lanarkshire, Healthcare Improvement Scotland and Glasgow Caledonian University, where Dr Mavroeidi was previously based.

The award was presented by Health Secretary Jeane Freeman at a ceremony in Edinburgh.

Dr Mavroeidi said: “This is a prestigious award for a project which has had significant impact in encouraging older hospital patients to be more active.

We’re looking to continue the academic and clinical links we created in this project and NHS Lanarkshire are keen to do the same.”

Calum Campbell, Chief Executive of NHS Lanarkshire, said: “The exemplary work of these projects have set the gold standard in safe and innovative person-centred care.

“These awards amplify that sentiment and highlight the importance of a partnership approach in addressing various health and social care challenges. Well done to all involved.”

Analysis of data at the hospital highlighted relatively low levels of patient mobility, and limited opportunities for engagement activities outwith traditional treatment and therapy sessions. The Think Activity project focused on implementing changes to increase physical activity levels and cognitive stimulus. 

Other activities included music and movement, singing, dancing, crafts, games, baking, afternoon tea and plant pot planting. The initial programme was developed by the partners into an ‘activity passport’, which enables patients to express their likes, dislikes, and encouraged them to set realistic personal goals for activity achievement.

Dr Mavroeidi presented the scientific findings of the study at the recent Royal Osteoporosis Society conference in Birmingham and staff have already started sharing the learning from the project with other teams across acute and community hospitals within Lanarkshire.

The team are currently discussing how to evaluate further the effectiveness of the intervention in preventing deconditioning in older hospitalised patients and improving quality of life after hospital discharge.

The Scottish Health Awards are run by the Daily Record in partnership with NHS Scotland and the Scottish Government.