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Art prescribing spreading

A Gloucestershire GP with artistic leanings has seen his idea of prescribing art rather than drugs picked up by 10 surgeries and four hospitals.

Since being featured in Pulse two years ago, the success of Dr Simon Opher's referral scheme to an artist in residence who offers poetry, ceramics and art, at his Dursley surgery, has spread.

He said it had helped more than 400 people with complaints ranging from stress to drug misuse, and cut his consultation rates by up to 75% .

'We need to develop more evidence for this, so we can persuade health planners to put more funding into this type of work, which I believe will take pressure off other parts of the medical system,' said Dr Opher.

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