RGU student develops new Exercise Referral Scheme to enhance patient pathway

A Robert Gordon University student has developed an innovative Exercise Referral Scheme which will provide patients with access to an integrated system of assessment and monitoring as they recover from ill health.

Exercise Referral SchemePostgraduate research student Laura Mason, 28, designed the scheme, entitled ‘Active Living for Life,’ supported by and in conjunction with Active Stirling where she spent time on placement during her studies.

To ensure best practice, Laura has developed a number of quality standards for the referral scheme, under the academic supervision of Phil Carver and Dr Eimear Dolan from RGU’s School of Health Sciences, which provides an evidenced-based and sustainable referral model for Active Stirling and other key stakeholders.

The Exercise Referral Scheme will initially be rolled out across Stirlingshire and has been designed for use across the country should other NHS authorities wish to integrate it with their own healthcare model.

Laura said: “With a shift towards management of long-term conditions and a growing number of people with complex needs, the Exercise Referral Scheme provides a structured pathway for patients to manage specific conditions through a tailored exercise programme to meet their individual needs.

“The programme is designed as a brief intervention to influence a lifestyle change and is informed by the needs of each patient. Active Stirling has adopted the scheme and health professionals across Stirlingshire will soon be able to access the programme and refer patients to it.”

Led by a certified exercise practitioner the exercise intervention can involve a range of activities including walking, running, swimming and time in a gym facility but is based around patient choice and capability being monitored throughout the 12-week period.

Matthew Bunnell, Health and Fitness Development Manager for Active Stirling, said: “Laura has been tremendously influential in the development of this scheme which has helped Active Stirling work with local partners as well as offer an important service for residents.

“We have a strong relationship with RGU’s health science team and to have access to its experts like Dr Eimear Dolan and Phil Carver, who worked with Laura on this project, makes the University a key partner for our organisation.”

For more information about the scheme, please contact Laura on


Issued by
Ross Anderson
Communications Officer | Health and Sport

Robert Gordon University
AB10 1FR
Tel: (01224) 262389