Nuffield Health ready to reopen fitness and wellbeing centres

As gym and leisure facilities prepare to open, the UK’s largest healthcare charity sets out its strategy to reopen its sites safely for members and employees.

We are ready to welcome our members back to our fitness and wellbeing centres across England following the government announcement that gyms in England can reopen on 25th July 2020. To ensure our sites are safe for both members and employees, we have implemented a number of changes, following guidance from UK Active, the UK government, Public Health England and our infection prevention team.

To maintain the health and wellbeing of staff and members, we are drawing on over 60 years of clinical care experience to influence our approach to reopening. Applying learnings from our hospital’s infection prevention team we will be taking members’ temperatures upon arrival, reducing fitness class sizes and placing signs around the club to help maintain social distancing. Classes will also be shorter than usual to allow time to sanitise the space in between sessions. Swimming pools will re-open for lane swimming only, with fewer people able to use the pool at any one time, and members will be asked to book their session before arriving. Saunas, steam rooms and spa pools will remain closed, while cafes will be offering a reduced service, with some remaining closed for the time being. 

To ensure cleanliness, we will be performing an enhanced two-stage cleaning process, using detergent and disinfectant, to sanitise all gym equipment throughout the day and clean the entire club overnight. We will also be providing multiple hand sanitising stations and supplying more hygiene wipe dispensers throughout the club, so members can clean down equipment and mats before and after use. 

Our Chief Operating Officer, Martin Friend comments: “The health and safety of our members and employees is our first priority. With over 60 years’ experience in clinical care, we are implementing learnings from our infection prevention team, alongside industry and government recommendations to ensure our fitness and wellbeing clubs are prepared to welcome back members in a safe and controlled way. 

“During this unprecedented time, we have been supporting regional NHS trusts and local communities across the nation. We have made all of our 31 hospitals available to the NHS to help increase capacity to support those NHS patients affected by the COVID-19 (coronavirus). Our hospitals have also been used to facilitate the continued delivery of critical NHS services, such as cancer care, and to support NHS patients with other health conditions. We are in a unique position to care for people physically, mentally and clinically to help the recovery of the nation.”

We will also be setting out how members can play a role in ensuring a safe, clean environment for all. Members will be asked to arrive dressed for their workout to limit the use of changing rooms. Members will also be asked to bring a full water bottle as water fountains will be out of use. Those using the gym will be asked to shower at home, so shower facilities can be prioritised for those using the pool, as we will be reducing the number of shower facilities. Members will also be asked to book online for classes and lane swimming, and to limit their visit to an hour, so that all members get the chance to use our facilities.

For those members not ready to return, we will be offering the option to freeze their memberships. Members will also have access to the new fitness platform, Nuffield Health 24/7, which will provide an enhanced service for members, with continued access to online resources and brand new specialist workouts led and delivered by an expert team of professionals.

Take a look at our member experience video to see what our gyms will look like when we reopen.

Last updated Thursday 9 July 2020

First published on Thursday 9 July 2020