Get in touch to arrange a meeting
Dr Viola Marx
Green Health Partnership Coordinator
Receive Green Health Prescriptions
VISION template (EMIS template coming soon)
Recommend relevant activities
Receive feedback on patients’ journey
Why Green Health Prescriptions?
An ageing population, more people with multiple conditions, widespread chronic illness and medical advances – all put increasing pressure on the health sector.
Our Natural Health Service is responding to these pressures, and shows how Scotland’s natural environment is a resource that can be used to help tackle some of our key health issues. The initiative aims to bring about a step change in the use of nature-based solutions to deliver health outcomes. In Dundee the Green Health Partnership launched the Green Health Prescription pathway as part of social prescribing aiming to allow NHS Healthcare professionals to connect patients with free outdoor interventions delivered and supported by the Third Sector. Currently the Green Health Directory offers over 60 weekly green health activities to increase physical and mental health as well as social wellbeing.
Green Health Activities can be used prophylactically, alongside treatment and during recovery.
Green Health Prescriptions offer you a pathway to link your patients to local Third Sector nature-based intervention delivery partners. Our partners are well established and offer a wide variety of activities suitable for many health conditions. All our partners have trained staff and volunteers as well as appropriate risk assessments in place.
Green Health Prescriptions were successfully launched by Joe Fitzpatrick MSP (Minister for Public Health, Sport and Wellbeing) alongside Dr Drew Walker, Director of Public Health NHS Tayside, in April 2019 and were piloted in three participating surgeries: Whitfield, Lochee (High Street), and Taybank. We have since then expanded the use of Green Health Prescriptions into further primary and selected secondary care services across Dundee.
How does it work?
You can make a referral using either a paper-based or electronic Green Health Prescription. The prescription contains contact details for the patient to reach the Green Health Operator, who will hold a consultation in order to find a suitable nature-based intervention. Different to traditional referral pathways we allow the patient to choose their activity themselves, because allowing them to be in charge of their own health and doing something they enjoy to help them get better. We allow the patient 7 working days to contact us. If for any reason we have not been contacted we will make contact to get the conversation started. Following the consultation we will provide a recommendation of activities and identify any further support that might be needed to attend the sessions.
Ideally nature-based interventions are based within the local community and can be reached by means of active travel.
We are also able to update you on your patient's progress with relevant consent in place.
Additionally through the consultation we can identify gaps in the service provision and together with the Dundee Green Health Partnership work together to deliver missing health opportunities with our partners.
Which formats are available?
Paper-based and digital Adobe PDF versions. Paper-based prescriptions can be printed using the VISION systems template. We are currently working on a template for EMIS. Please get in touch if you require a printable template for a different system.
What are Green Health Activities?
Supportive programmes such as health walks groups, environmental volunteering, community growing schemes or Friends of Parks groups. All of these provide gentle to moderate physical activity and a social blether.
Nature-based interventions based on the use of the outdoors can support people with a range of physical or mental health issues. From physical activity sessions for people with cancer or type 2 diabetes to wilderness therapy programmes for mental health or addiction service users, connecting to green space can provide fun, motivation, inspiration and the restorative value of being in and being active in nature.
Who can prescribe?
NHS primary and secondary healthcare workers.
You do not need to be an accredited prescriber such as a doctor or a pharmacist. Anyone interacting with patients can issue Green Health Prescriptions, such as nurses, dietitians, OTs, AHPs, physiotherapists and more.
Who is the prescription for?
Currently the service is open to Dundee-based patients only.
Which additional support is available?
GO Project Buddies: For the first 1-3 times a volunteer can meet and join the patient during the activity
Dial-OP Morning Call: Short welfare check and appointment reminder
Additional Referrals to Statutory / Third Sector partners, local organisations and agencies to help support the patient further
Why does Green Health work?
We experience a series of positive health effects, when we are in contact with the nature. In general, these effects occur at the level of our cardiovascular, immune, respiratory and nervous system. Additionally these affect our physiological and psychological well-being. Research suggests that the gases and vapors emitted by plants (monoterpenes) are the main cause for these effects. Anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective and anti-tumorigenic activities are among its most studied effects.
Bach, A., Yáñez-Serrano, A.M., Llusià, J., Filella, I., Maneja, R. and Penuelas, J., 2020. Human breathable air in a Mediterranean forest: characterization of monoterpene concentrations under the canopy. International journal of environmental research and public health, 17(12), p.4391.
What is Green Health good for?
The positive links between environment and human health and wellbeing are now well established, supported by research from around the world and echoed in powerful individual life stories of how contact with nature can help people acquire and maintain healthy behaviours.
Twohig-Bennett, C. and Jones, A., 2018. The health benefits of the great outdoors: A systematic review and meta-analysis of greenspace exposure and health outcomes. Environmental research, 166, pp.628-637.
Rojas-Rueda, D., Nieuwenhuijsen, M.J., Gascon, M., Perez-Leon, D. and Mudu, P., 2019. Green spaces and mortality: a systematic review and meta-analysis of cohort studies. The Lancet Planetary Health, 3(11), pp.e469-e477.
Hossain, M.M., Sultana, A., Ma, P., Fan, Q., Sharma, R., Purohit, N. and Sharmin, D.F., 2020. Effects of natural environment on mental health: an umbrella review of systematic reviews and meta-analyses.
White, M.P., Alcock, I., Grellier, J., Wheeler, B.W., Hartig, T., Warber, S.L., Bone, A., Depledge, M.H. and Fleming, L.E., 2019. Spending at least 120 minutes a week in nature is associated with good health and wellbeing. Scientific reports, 9(1), pp.1-11.
To become a Green Health Prescription prescriber contact:
Dr Viola Marx
Green Health Partnership Coordinator