How about GP training in an area of such natural beauty that it is available on prescription?
Since October last year GP’s in Shetland have been able to prescribe Nature in treating conditions such as High Blood Pressure and Anxiety.
The project was piloted in the Scalloway Surgery in collaboration with the RSPB and is now available across all 10 GP practices in Shetland.
The prescription comes with a leaflet across a calendar year, filled with amusing, charming, sometimes seemingly off-kilter suggestions.
For April the leaflet suggests:
· Touch the sea
· Find a bud on a tree... feel the texture
· Turn over some soil and plant some flowering plants.
· Take a wader minute – step outside and hear the call of a whaap (curlew), lapwing or redshank
· Spot the first sten-shakkers (wheatears) returning to Shetland after wintering south of the Sahara
· Make a bug hotel (see rspb.org.uk for ideas)
· Un-litter... a little and save a life. Take part in Da Voar Redd Up
· Take the coastal route to the Broch of Burraland – watch for the “wheel” of a neesik (harbour porpoise) in Mousa Sound
· Visit the old haaf station at Fethaland, keeping an eye open for purple saxifrage on the way
· Clouds are often described as wispy (cirrus), heaped (cumulus) and layered (stratus). What clouds are in the sky today?
For more information: Link to full calendar leaflet - https://www.healthyshetland.com/site/assets/files/1178/730-1309-17-18_nature_prescriptions_calendar_4sep.pdf
Want to read more? Link to BBC News - https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-45758016
Want to see more of the delights of Shetland, an area of outstanding natural beauty. Here is a link to a light-hearted, humorous A-Z of Shetland - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Su5weSQH1DY
Dr Mark Taylor, Associate Advisor, Centre for Health Science, Inverness