Doctors in England will soon be able to prescribe bike rides to improve public health. The UK government announced a £12.7m programme for local authorities to take part in a three-year trial, following a successful pilot in West Yorkshire run by the charity Cycling UK.
From now, GPs will issue prescriptions as part of the trial, which will include adult cycling training, free bike loans and cycling and walking groups. Wheelchair and mobility scooter users will also benefit. The pilots run until 2025 in Bradford, Leeds, Doncaster, Cumbria, Gateshead, Nottingham, Staffordshire, Suffolk, Plymouth, Cornwall, Bath and NE Somerset.
According to BBC, the UK government said the authorities must also improve infrastructure so people felt safe walking and cycling:
“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.”, Walking and Cycling Minister, Trudy Harrison, said.
“The UK is leading the way in embedding social prescribing in our NHS and communities across the country. We’ve already exceeded our target to ensure over 900,000 people are referred to social prescribing schemes by 2023-24 and this pilot will help us identify further schemes to reduce disparities and boost mental and physical wellbeing across the country.”, Minister for Health, Maria Caulfield, added.
Source: UK | Positive News