Physical Activity Prescriptions reaping benefits

Friday 26th July 2019

Clinicians at a Carluke GP practice say a programme that offers the option of prescribing physical activity is leading to improvements in health and wellbeing of patients.

The South Lanarkshire’s Physical Activity Prescription (PAP) initiative is aimed at people with physical health-related conditions such as obesity and diabetes, as well as mild to moderate mental health conditions.

Every GP practice in the Clydesdale locality has signed up to the programme to encourage patients to exercise and join active health classes.

Now GPs and staff at High Mill Medical Practice in Carluke are reporting that the approach is leading to improvements in blood pressure, cholesterol and weight loss.

They also say people with long term conditions are improving their mobility.

Meanwhile, people are also reporting reductions in anxiety and better mood, confidence, self-esteem and general well-being.

Partner at High Hill Medical Practice, Dr Steven Zonfrillo, says the results so far are encouraging:

“PAP has been a great tool that our practice nurse has used with our diabetic patients as it allows them to take some responsibility for managing their condition. Making use of resources locally means that, hopefully, more investment and opportunities may arise in the future.”

The initiative, funded by NHS Lanarkshire’s health improvement department, is being delivered by the health development team at South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture (SLLC).

David Inglis, health improvement senior for Clydesdale locality, says the partnership with SLLC and third sector organisations is offering an important option for clinicians:

“PAP is a great tool that enables GPs, nurses and other primary care professionals to refer people to a range of non-clinical services within the local community.

"The programme recognises that people’s health is determined primarily by a range of social, economic and environmental factors and aims to support individuals to take greater control of their own health and well-being.”