Now doctors prescribe plots to help with loneliness or muscle and joint pain

Tuesday 19 February 2019 2:46 AM UTC

LONDON Feb 19: A GP surgery has begun prescribing allotments to patients with stress and mobility issues.

The May Lane Surgery, in Dursley, Gloucester, is offering gardening spaces to people with social isolation or joint pain to get them fitter – and onto a healthy diet.

Doctors say they have previously been recommending exercise or the gym, but allotments come with the added benefit of an improved diet full of fruit and veg.

Patients can make a cup of tea, chat, meet others and develop bonds and grow cabbages, cauliflowers, leaks, red onions, carrots, potatoes, radishes, and herbs.

Dr Simon Opher, of the surgery in Dursley, Gloucester, says medical experts ‘sometimes medicalise problems which have a different solution’.

He says the allotments are to to be used alongside traditional treatments such as medicine which remain effective.

Dr Opher said: ‘Sometimes I think doctors can medicalise problems which have a different solution.

‘Diet and exercise are as important as most drugs. It’s good to get your hands dirty and it’s good to be outside.’