Health Service Focus

06.11.19

Swim England 'swimming saves NHS £357m a year'

Swimming in the UK Is having a huge impact on the health and social care system, as new research reveals it saves the NHS more than £357m a year.

Swim England, the national governing body for swimming, published a Value of Swimming report, highlighting these figures and the specific ways getting people to take part in swim related activities eases pressure on the NHS.

The report shows that every month, 4.7 million people swim regularly, yet one in three adults remain unable to swim, something Swim England are aiming to amend.

They are calling on the government and healthcare professionals to support their efforts to get the nation swimming and ‘maximise the benefits’ swimming can offer.

This includes more social prescribing of swimming by health professionals to further reduce GP visits and alleviate strain on the NHS.

The comprehensive report shows the vital role swimming plays in treating, physical and mental health conditions with the largest savings made up from dementia (£139,546,106) and strokes (£100,046,173).

Other key savings are made in diabetes (£37,446,191), colon cancer (£10,433,330), breast cancer (£9,830,341) and depression (£9,501,792).

The report also reveals how £51,048,348 is saved as a result of reduced GP and psychotherapy visits by those who swim regularly.

It also calls for investment and support into developing more pools and pool operators, together with local authorities and trusts to enhance the social impact of local facilities.

Jane Nickerson, CEO of Swim England, said:

“This report proves what those involved with swimming have known for a long time – that it truly has the power to help people live longer, better, happier lives.”

“For the first time, it has highlighted how swimming saves our health and social care system hundreds of millions of pounds a year and the vital role it plays in tackling some of our biggest health conditions.”

“However, we will only be able to maximise the benefits swimming can offer the nation by working in partnership with government, healthcare professionals and the wider swimming sector and we look forward to working together with them to deliver on the recommendations in the report.”

Other key points in the report show that swimmers are more likely to be socially connected and 1.4 million adults claimed that swimming had significantly reduced symptoms of anxiety and or depression.

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