Scientist's healthcare mission

A SPORTS scientist is on a mission to help people in the UK avoid illness.

Dr Andy Scott, a clinical exercise specialist at the University of Portsmouth, wants Britain to catch up with America and Australia in preventive health care provision, and in the management of long-term chronic conditions.

Dr Scott said: ‘Unfortunately, preventive health care is not a high priority in the UK because the NHS can’t afford to prioritise prevention over looking after those who are already unwell.

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‘If you’re in the US or Australia, or if you’re able to afford private healthcare in Britain, you see a different emphasis – it’s about helping people avoid becoming unwell, and for those who are already unwell, improving their quality of life and reducing health care expenditure.’

Andy runs England’s only master’s degree in clinical exercise course which trains exercise clinicians to work with people with heart disease, lung disease, cancer, stroke and other chronic conditions.

He said: ‘In sports science, there’s been a historic emphasis on elite sport – can we help Bradley Wiggins go a tenth of a second faster, for example – but I’d like to see sports science expertise given to the rest of the population, too, to help more of us thrive and maintain a good standard of health.’