First News - - FRONT PAGE - by Ian Eddy

GET out into na­ture, that is!

That’s be­cause in­stead of pre­scrib­ing drugs to pa­tients, doc­tors in Shet­land can now hand out na­ture pre­scrip­tions. NHS Shet­land and RSPB Scot­land have worked to­gether on the scheme, which they say will help to re­duce anx­i­ety and blood pres­sure, and make peo­ple hap­pier.

GPs now have a cal­en­dar of sea­sonal ac­tiv­i­ties that they can rec­om­mend to pa­tients, to im­prove their phys­i­cal and men­tal health. The ben­e­fits of ex­er­cise are well-known, and it can help to re­duce the risks of heart disease, can­cer and di­a­betes, as well as anx­i­ety, de­pres­sion and sleep prob­lems.

The other ben­e­fit is that get­ting out­side is free, and will save NHS Scot­land money on drugs that don’t al­ways work.

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