“Walking in the country”: General practitioners give patients a natural recipe

The High Peak area of ​​Derbyshire

Patients are told to go out into the great outdoors, such as in the High Peak area of ​​Derbyshire (Image: Getty/Moment RF)

People who are unwell in England should be given a new tonic by their GP – nature’s recipe.

As part of a more holistic approach to patient well-being, people with a variety of health conditions are advised to connect with nature to aid in the healing process.

After a successful pilot in Scotland, the first natural prescriptions are being distributed to patients in High Peak, Derbyshire.

Tom Miller, GP at Buxton, said: “It’s incredibly important that we take care of our health and well-being, especially in January when life can be a real struggle; The days are short and money can be tight.

“Nature Recipes are a great way for people to increase their well-being by taking time to be with nature.

“There is evidence that spending time outdoors is good for our health, and this is an ingenious, simple and inexpensive way to help people do just that.”

The holistic approach to health and well-being also means patients are referred to a variety of support services, including help with financial management and personal training, as needed.

People walk in the beautiful Peak District of England

A walk in England’s beautiful Peak District will soon be prescribed by GPs (Image: Shutterstock)

The project is run by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) in partnership with the Peak District National Park Authority.

There is increasing evidence that people who are connected to nature have improved mental well-being, are happier and more content with life.

In the original study, conducted in collaboration with RSPB Scotland in Shetland and Edinburgh, 74% of patients said they benefited from the natural formula and 87% said they would continue to use the landscape to improve their health promote health and well-being.

In Derbyshire, patients are referred to two social prescription services by community psychiatric teams, adult social care teams, other local support agencies and 13 GP practices in the High Peak area.

People are given a calendar of ideas to inspire them to connect with nature, including looking for frost on leaves and listening to sounds outdoors, and can complete the program alone or with others.

Sarah Walker, Project Manager for Nature and Wellbeing at RSPB England said: “I am thrilled to see the project come to life at High Peak and can’t wait to see how nature recipes benefit the people of the region.

“Ultimately, we are all part of the natural world and helping people connect to it is so important.

“We would like to see nature as part of every healthcare professional’s toolbox in the future. So many people face a whole range of pressures in their lives, and nature might offer a way to help them.”

High Peak partially covers the Peak District National Park, the country’s first national park, which opened in 1951 and covers 555 square miles of land. Around 20 million people live within a one-hour drive.

Jo Hanney, Park Communities and Wellbeing Ranger, said: “The RSPB nature recipe is a new way of working for us.

“We will be able to reach a far broader and more diverse audience by connecting people to the national park through the recipe.

“This exciting partnership sees the true benefits of areas like our national parks, which are widely recognized as places that can make very real and positive changes to people’s lives.”

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https://metro.co.uk/2023/01/04/go-for-walk-in-countryside-gps-to-give-patients-nature-prescription-18038926/ "Walking in the country": General practitioners give patients a natural recipe

Justin Scacco

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