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Nature being prescribed in Edinburgh to support health and wellbeing - RSPB

Woman in autumn Credit: Ben Andrew (rspb-images.com)
Credit: Ben Andrew (rspb-images.com)

GPs at five practices in Edinburgh have started prescribing nature as part of a new collaboration between RSPB Scotland and Edinburgh and Lothians Health Foundation, the official charity of NHS Lothian.

Over the next five months, GPs at five practices in Edinburgh will be able to prescribe nature to patients as part of their treatment, thanks to an innovative project designed by RSPB Scotland, in collaboration with NHS Lothian’s charity partner, the Edinburgh and Lothian’s Health Foundation, and local GPs.

The five practices: East Craigs Medical Centre, Leith Mount Surgery, Inchpark Surgery, St Triduana’s Medical Practice and Mill Lane Surgery, are participating in a five-month trial of Nature Prescriptions, an initiative inspired by growing evidence that connecting with nature makes us healthier and happier.

Nature Prescriptions started in Shetland in 2017 as a partnership between RSPB Scotland and NHS Shetland and was successfully rolled out to all ten GP practices across Shetland in 2018. The new Edinburgh pilot aims to investigate whether Nature Prescriptions can be delivered in a similar way in an urban environment, and to explore the potential for extending it throughout Scotland.

Once again, RSPB Scotland has used their knowledge and understanding of connecting people with nature to produce a leaflet and a calendar of ideas, this time specific to Edinburgh. These materials have been designed to help patients connect with nature in a variety of ways and are provided, where needed, alongside regular prescriptions as part of a range of health treatments prescribed by their GP.

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