Posted on Tuesday 30th October, 2018
The Eden Project’s pioneering social prescribing programme will be the focus of an upcoming episode of the new series of the BBC One health series Holding Back the Years.
The episode will be shown at 9.15am on Thursday (November 1). It will be available on iPlayer at https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0bqhyn7.
Social prescribing is a process which allows GPs to refer patients to a range of local non-clinical services such as social clubs and nature-based activities, in the same way they would prescribe medication.
Eden runs a series of social prescribing programmes, under the banner of Eden on Prescription, including walking groups, lunch clubs and horticultural therapy.
TV doctor and author Dr Rangan Chatterjee visited Eden to spend time with its diabetes walking group to discuss the health and social benefits its members have felt in getting regular exercise at Eden.
He interviewed Eden’s Development Director Dan James, walking group member Frida Peake and Hayley Burgoyne, Social Prescribing Facilitator at St Austell Healthcare, who refer patients to Eden on Prescription programmes.
Dan James said: “We’re very pleased that Dr Chatterjee and the Holding Back the Years crew were able to visit to see the work that Eden on Prescription does.
“We believe that social prescribing has the potential to be a vital part of healthcare and can reduce people’s reliance on medication and need for medical appointments and hospital care.”
Eden on Prescription walking groups are for people with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD), diabetes and those with cardiac conditions. The physical benefits of walking are numerous, including improved heart health, lowering blood pressure, increasing cardiovascular conditioning and improved muscle tone and strength.
Eden also runs a weekly lunch club for older people to help tackle loneliness and social isolation. Most of the members are in their 70s and 80s, and have a range of conditions that make it difficult for them to get out and about. The group does a short walk at Eden before lunch in one of the project’s cafes.
Horticulture therapy gives people living with mental ill health the opportunity to develop a range of horticultural skills in Eden’s gardens and wider estate. The aim for these groups is to develop a sense of value, increase independence and confidence, and improve their ability to plan and to adapt to issues. The garden also yields produce for harvest, providing the opportunity to cook, eat and socialise together.
Dr Rangan Chatterjee is a pioneer in the emerging field of progressive medicine. He is known for finding the root cause of people’s problems by taking a 360 degree approach to health, which was highlighted in his ground-breaking BBC One TV show, Doctor in the House.
He is the resident doctor on BBC One’s Breakfast, a regular commentator on BBC Radio and gave an inspirational TEDx talk on making diseases disappear. He regularly lectures on his subject at events and conferences around the world.