Frithwood surgery is a GP surgery near to Stroud, Gloucestershire. It joined the NHS Forest in 2013 fruit trees were planted on the estate. The first NHS Forest Green Health Route launched here in May of that year, involving patients, staff and members of the local community in healthy activities.
The GP and practice nurse were motivated to create greenspace adjacent to the surgery and run a series of health walks through the village. They saw this as an opportunity to “engage with this community spirit and use our position as the clinical team to demonstrate the connection between green space and health.”
The GP and practice nurse established links with other stakeholders, including an initial meeting with the NHS Forest, the Patient Participation Group (PPG), the parish council, local Scouts, and nearby businesses to encourage them to be involved and support their plans. The PPG was instrumental in providing financial assistance to the development of the project. The GP also organised an evening event with the local Scout group who helped to place the markers around the health route.
The practitioners involved were driven by personal values and experiences, and a desire to get involved in a community project outside of their everyday responsibilities. These individuals played an important creative entrepreneurial role in the delivery of the project. The newly planted trees and the health route are a valued community service, and community members will be able access some fresh fruit in the future.
Read an article about the health walk by GP Online.