One of Devon's Physical Activity Clinical Champions, stood on the hillside with Devon's beautiful countryside in the background.

Healthcare Professionals – Meet Devon’s Physical Activity Clinical Champions 

Active Devon is delighted to introduce the Physical Activity Clinical Champions (PACCs) for the Devon area. Georgina Button and Marcia Doherty will be joining Clare Osborne in delivering free, evidence-based training to Devon’s healthcare professionals. The training is designed to increase healthcare professionals’ knowledge of the current Chief Medical Officer’s guidelines for physical activity and how to provide brief advice during consultations.

Active Devon’s Health and Wellbeing strategic theme focusses on collaborating with healthcare professionals and connecting and advocating the value of physical activity in the health system. Working with Devon’s PACCs will support our aims of ensuring the benefits of physical activity are understood and routinely used to improve people’s physical and mental wellbeing.

Improving Physical Activity Conversations with Patients

Evidence shows that one in four people would be more active if advised by a GP or nurse. Healthcare professionals are considered a trusted source of advice, so what they say about physical activity and how they raise it as a topic could have a big impact on activity levels.

The opportunity to make a difference is huge. If one in four of the inactive population received and acted on advice from their healthcare professional, there would 2.9 million less inactive adults in England who would be gaining the benefits of moving more.

With an increasing number of people living with and managing long-term conditions and the strong evidence base for physical activity as a prevention and treatment tool it is important that healthcare professionals have the knowledge, skills and confidence to have physical activity conversations with patients.

Healthcare Professional Training Sessions

Devon’s Physical Activity Clinical Champions offer peer to peer training for groups of healthcare professionals either online or face to face at a time that suits local training needs.

The training sessions are between one to three hours and will improve awareness, knowledge, confidence and skills to promote physical activity to patients to prevent and manage ill health.

Nationally, over 28,000 healthcare professionals have been trained so far, with an independent evaluation from the first phase of the programme demonstrating:

  • Increased knowledge – one in four (25%) of those who did not know the guidelines recalled them correctly at four and twelve weeks
  • Increased confidence – those ‘extremely confident’ increased from 16% to 30% at four weeks
  • Increased regularity of discussions – 40% had more physical activity conversations with patients

To find out more please visit the Sport England website: Sport England – Moving Healthcare Professionals.

How to Book a Session

Sessions can be arranged for groups either face to face or online, or individuals can join an online session. To express an interest please email

Meet the Physical Activity Clinical Champions (PACCs)

A photo of Claire outdoors with a scenic background of the Devon countryside. Claire is a Physical Activity Clinical Champion based in Plymouth

Clare is a Diabetes Specialist Nurse based in Plymouth:

“I have always been passionate about physical activity and its health benefits and have been involved with setting up exercise groups for diabetes patients in Plymouth. As part of my practice, I talk about the benefits of physical activity everyday with my patients and recognised this message is important for all, not just those with diabetes. The role of PACC enables me to ensure healthcare professionals, (HCPs) have the up-to-date knowledge, and empower them to have the confidence to promote physical activity to their patients.”

“In my spare time I love being active outdoors. Whether it’s running, swimming in the sea, paddleboarding or walking on Dartmoor with my family.”

A photo of Georgie paddleboarding in the sea. Georgie is a Physical Activity Clinical Champion based in Torbay.

Georgie is a Team Lead Musculoskeletal Physio based in Torbay:

“I am passionate about enabling patients to reach their full potential through advice, education and health promotion. As a physio I prescribe exercise and rehabilitation on a daily basis, and I want to empower other healthcare professionals to feel confident in provoking discussions around physical activity with their patients. I hope to be able to give you the tools and guidance to signpost patients to the most appropriate way to start their own journey.”

“I like to be active outside as much as possible – we all know the benefits of fresh air on our body and mind. I’m passionate about paddleboarding and I get a buzz out of wild swimming, (although I’ll admit my tolerance in the Winter months needs work!) I also get to the gym about four times a week for a mixture of weights, HIIT training and circuits.”

“As a family we spend a lot of time clambering rocks on Dartmoor and hiking, and I’ve been known to do the odd half marathon too.”

A photo of Marcia stood outside with Devon's beautiful coastline in the background. Marcia is a Physical Activity Clinical Champion based in Teignmouth Hospital.

Marcia is a Community Nurse Manager for the Coastal Locality Team and is based in Teignmouth Hospital:

“I have worked in the community for most of my career and my role previous to this was as a Community Matron. I worked with patients with long-term conditions for 14 years and developed a particular interest in physical activity within this patient group. I understand the reasons why this group of patients find physical activity challenging, whether it is due to breathlessness, motivation or pain. I am passionate about engaging them to be more active to be able to see the benefits for themselves.”

“The presentation that we can deliver to our healthcare colleagues, I believe, will really start to make an impact on these patient’s general health and wellbeing.”

“With regards to me being active, I really enjoy yoga, running, swimming, gym and walking. I alternate them throughout the week, but my favourite thing is to go out walking and just enjoy the countryside and just enjoying the company of a friend or family member.”