Research Output
Green Health Partnerships in Scotland; Pathways for Social Prescribing and Physical Activity Referral
  Increased exposure to green space has many health benefits. Scottish Green Health Partnerships (GHPs) have established green health referral pathways to enable community-based interventions to contribute to primary prevention and the maintenance of health for those with established disease. This qualitative study included focus groups and semi-structured telephone interviews with a range of professionals involved in strategic planning for and the development and provision of green health interventions (n = 55). We explored views about establishing GHPs. GHPs worked well, and green health was a good strategic fit with public health priorities. Interventions required embedding into core planning for health, local authority, social care and the third sector to ensure integration into non-medical prescribing models. There were concerns about sustainability and speed of change required for integration due to limited funding. Referral pathways were in the early development stages and intervention provision varied. Participants recognised challenges in addressing equity, developing green health messaging, volunteering capacity and providing evidence of success. Green health interventions have potential to integrate successfully with social prescribing and physical activity referral. Participants recommended GHPs engage political and health champions, embed green health in strategic planning, target mental health, develop simple, positively framed messaging, provide volunteer support and implement robust routine data collection to allow future examination of success.

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  • Date:

    18 September 2020

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  • Funders:

    Scottish Natural Heritage


McHale, S., Pearsons, A., Neubeck, L., & Hanson, C. L. (2020). Green Health Partnerships in Scotland; Pathways for Social Prescribing and Physical Activity Referral. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(18), Article 6832.



green health; social prescribing; public health; physical activity referral; qualitative evaluation

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