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NHS projects

How we work with the NHS and health professionals across London to use cycling to improve health


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Cycling is a critical individual and public health intervention

We work with NHS professionals across London to integrate cycling into healthcare, from mental health interventions and achieving net zero in the NHS to social prescribing and combatting air pollution.

1 in 26 people commuting in London are travelling to an NHS site, and the NHS in London employs around 280,000 staff – the equivalent of an entire London borough’s worth of people.

Rethinking transport has the potential to transform the physical and mental health of millions of people across London.

What we do

Cycling for post-operative recovery

We work with Barts Health NHS Trust to use cycling to help patients following major heart surgery. As well as the physical health benefits of the activity itself, the project also seeks to address the anxiety and isolation that can follow serious illness.

Cycling for children with disabilities

We have teamed up with the NHS Homerton Healthcare Foundation Trust to offer access to cycling and support for patients using the Hackney Ark, a specialist NHS outpatient service for young people with disabilities and additional needs. The ‘My Active Future’ report (2020) found one-third of disabled children do less than 30 minutes of activity per day and that disabled children are twice as likely to be lonely compared to their peers, so our project works to embed cycling within children’s everyday lives for exercise and friendship.

Cycling with GP practices

We’re working with a Kentish Town GP Practice to offer free guided cycle rides to people for mental and physical health. These rides are based at The Caversham Group Practice and are supported by Lime and our local group of volunteers in Camden, and will be ongoing throughout 2023. Find out more and join the rides here.

Cycling as a route to NHS Net Zero

One in every 26 people commuting in London is heading to an NHS site for work. The NHS as an employer holds huge power to shape the lives of its staff and contractors alongside those of its patients and their relatives.

We support major NHS trusts across London to rethink how they support their staff to travel and their supply chains, through both physical changes such as safe cycle parking, regulatory changes such as contractor HGV minimum standards for procurement, and behavioural interventions focused on staff as role models both for patients and each other. Cycling should be a viable option for all NHS contractors, staff and visitors.

Cycling for mental health

Cycling offers huge opportunities to promote mental as well as physical wellbeing. We have many stories of people who’ve come to cycling through us, and how it has helped them combat major illnesses such as depression and anxiety. We’ve keen to work with groups who are interested in doing more in this area.

Cycling to campaign for a liveable future

We’re proud to support the Ride for their Lives movement, helping doctors and healthcare professionals come together to use cycling to call for urgent action on the climate emergency. We have helped marshal protest rides and connect up healthcare professionals interested in cycling across London.

At London Cycling Campaign we can help with pilot schemes (where funding is available), making the case to senior clinicians, linking up with our community cycling activities, and project design and evaluation.

If you’re interested in embedding cycling within your NHS trust for patients or staff, please reach out to our team today.

Discover all our NHS work

Read our booklet of case studies from previous cycling projects across the NHS

Adebola’s NHS story

We spoke with Adebola, who was part of a Barts Health NHS Trust project using cycling to help patients following major heart surgery.

In 2014 Ade started experiencing chronic back pain and in 2015 discovered his kidneys were failing. After almost five years of dialysis a kidney match was found and the following operation thankfully proved successful. However, in April 2019 he started to go downhill and it was discovered he had an infection — and in treating the infection it was discovered he had some problems with his heart.

After successful heart surgery in December — with his new valve and unblocked arteries — Ade started his rehabilitation, including time with the Barts Health NHS Trust and London Cycling Campaign post-operative recovery cycling project (pictured below, far right)

“The cycling has done a lot for me, it has made me stronger, it has made me more positive, it has helped me overcome my shyness. Now I feel I can mix and talk with people. Before I was very introverted. Since I’ve been cycling my health has improved a lot and I walk more often. I walk to town and back, I get on my bike at home. My family have seen a big difference in me. 

“There is also a big difference in me as a person. I used to be on edge and had very negative thoughts about my health and my life. Now I find it easier to talk to the group about issues they have and everyone opens up and says, “Oh, I had a triple by-pass, etc.”… People see me and they comment on my physical appearance too. I check my blood pressure after each session and it is always normal. Before I was very moody, I would think, ‘Why me?’ and that I couldn’t do something. Now I am much better.” ~ Adebola

Find out more about this project in our booklet of case studies from previous cycling projects across the NHS

Using cycling to campaign for health

I’d like to give hope, you don’t need to despair, there are other people out there that feel the same and want to do something.

Dr Mark Hayden is a children's intensive care doctor at Great Ormond Street Hospital. He has led healthcare professionals to cycle thousands of miles to COP26 and COP27 to demand action on the climate emergency.

Climate Safe Streets

What’s the biggest thing London can do to tackle both public health and the climate emergency? Help people drive less and cycle, walk and wheel more. Many healthcare professionals are campaigning with us to demand safe cycling for all.


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NHS staff standing with bike in front of hospital