Social prescriptions, including walking, wheeling and cycling, will be offered by general practice as part of a new trial to improve mental and physical health and reduce disparities across the country. The government has provided £12.7 million in multi-year funding to 11 local authority areas in England. The funding will go towards several pilot projects in each location, including adult cycle training, free bike loans and walking groups.
In total, 11 local authority areas will trial social prescriptions. The pilots will be delivered between 2022 and 2025 with on-going monitoring and evaluation to support continued learning. They aim to evaluate the impact of cycling and walking on an individual's health, such as reduced GP appointments and reliance on medication due to more physical activity.
Highlighting the benefits to the environment as well as health, Walking and Cycling Minister Trudy Harrison, said: ‘Walking and cycling has so many benefits – from improving air quality in our communities to reducing congestion on our busiest streets. It also has an enormous positive impact on physical and mental health, which is why we have funded these projects which will get people across the country moving and ease the burden on our NHS.’
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