The investment is part of a £6.5m investment across Yorkshire.
The unique service, expected to launch this summer, will be delivered by Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust staff and offered at diagnosis to all cancer patients in the Harrogate area.
All staff will be trained trained in exercise for cancer patients.
The programme will include group exercise, one-to one support, home-based activities, yoga and Pilates. Exercise classes will be provided by physiotherapists and physical activity trainers at Harrogate Sports and Fitness Centre, Hookstone Wood Road. The venue was chosen from a selection of venues following extensive consultation with patients.
Research shows that physical activity following a cancer diagnosis can reduce the risk of cancer returning1. People living with and after cancer who are more active also experience less fatigue, pain, anxiety, depression and sleep disturbances.
Dr Thomas Collyer, clinical lead for the service and a Consultant in Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine at Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust, said:
Despite the well-established benefit of exercise as a treatment for cancer, access to classes with specialist trainers, delivered in a safe environment, remains extremely limited at best, and often totally unavailable for patients.
In partnership with Yorkshire Cancer Research, we hope to change this situation for patients living with cancer in Harrogate, and create a model of care that has the potential to be rolled out across Yorkshire.
The service will be offered to approximately 600 patients a year for an initial period of two years, and will be available before, during and after treatment. It will run alongside an existing Health and Wellbeing programme delivered through the Sir Robert Ogden Macmillan Cancer Centre, which offers a range of support services including complementary therapies.
Dr Kathryn Scott, Chief Executive at Yorkshire Cancer Research, said:
This innovative programme represents a step change in the way we think about cancer and achieve the best possible outcomes for patients.
Increasing fitness can help to reduce the risk of major cancer surgery and increase the chance of a full recovery. Exercise can also help to reduce the physical decline associated with cancer treatment and improve psychological wellbeing.
As the number of patients surviving cancer continues to increase, it’s also important that we offer effective rehabilitation programmes, reducing the risk of the cancer returning and ensuring patients are able to go on and live long and healthy lives.
We’d like to thank our generous supporters for helping to bring this service to cancer patients living in the Harrogate area.