Doctors urged to use health reforms to prescribe gardening treatment

Doctors should prescribe gardening to people experiencing depression and other forms of ill health, the president of the Royal College of Physicians has said.

Sir Richard Thompson, who is a patron of gardening therapy charity Thrive, said the Government's health reforms will allow GPs to use more innovative treatment approaches. Under the reforms, clinical groups will commission services, giving them more choice to prescribe treatments such as horticulture, which Thompson said could be more beneficial than drugs.

"I have, for some time, thought that doctors should prescribe a course of gardening for people who come to them with depression or stroke," he said.

"The new commissioning structures about to be introduced might allow more innovative treatment approaches to be put in place, including the opportunity to try gardening rather than prescribe expensive drugs."

He added that Thrive and other organisations had produced evidence that being outdoors in a natural environment was good for people. "Drug therapy can be really expensive, but gardening costs little and anyone can do it," he said.

"Gardening burns off calories, makes joints supple and is fantastic exercise. As a physical activity, gardening has been shown to be helpful in the treatment of anxiety, depression and dementia."


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Read These Next

Opinion... Bridges needed across the sectors

Opinion... Bridges needed across the sectors

Horticulture Week's careers guide (HW, April 2018) is a revealing insight into what constitutes "a horticulturist". Horticulture is a coherent discipline.

Winning designs

Winning designs

Student anniversary collaboration generates outstanding work.

Mowers special report - Tractor-mounted units

Mowers special report - Tractor-mounted units

Are cylinder or rotary mowers the best bet to maximise efficiency, performance and productivity? Sally Drury reports.


Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Horticulture Week Custodian Awards

Products & Kit Resources