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Diabetes patients prescribed free bike hire by GPs

Patients with type 2 diabetes are being offered free bike hire on prescription by GPs as part of a new pilot in Wales.

The pilot is the first of its kind in the UK and will allow GPs to prescribe a six-month membership to Nextbike, a company that allows people to share bikes in different locations across the UK.

It is being led by Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, which said the scheme will initially begin in two GP practices in the capital city.

GPs in Lansdowne Surgery and Fairwater Health Centre will be allowed to prescribe the membership to not only patients with type 2 diabetes, but also to patients who they believe would physically benefit from cycling.

Dr Tom Porter, public health medicine consultant at Cardiff and Vale UHB and Public Health Wales, said if the initiative is successful it will be expanded to to other practices in the city. 

He said: ‘For the first phase of the pilot we want to make sure the scheme works as intended and is easy to use for patients and their health professionals, so we’ll be seeking feedback from participants. If the approach proves successful we’ll look at making it more widely available across the city.’

Len Richards, chief executive of Cardiff and Vale UHB said: ‘This is a promising pilot which has the full support of the UHB. As a health board, we know that prevention and health promotion is one of our most important roles and are keen to promote activities which keep people healthy.’

Elsewhere, a woodland charity has suggested GPs should prescribe ‘forest bathing’ and other nature-based activities on the NHS.

Meanwhile, social prescribers are just one of the roles that will support new primary care networks in England, with NHS England fully-funding 1,000 social prescribers by April 2021.


Readers' comments (11)

  • Much better than free medication for life, which promotes the sick role & medicalisation of preventable & reversible condition

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  • Just a different form of dependency. Here's your reward for not making the effort to look after yourselves, paid for by the people who did make the effort. More time and money flushed down the toilet on the orders of the Good Idea Fairy.

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  • So when they do a Froome what responsiblity the prescriber. We do have a shop called Halfords in a capitalist society they can buy themselves a bike if they want to get fit.Even better walk to to offie to get your cakes and cider for free.

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  • Sorry - why does this have to involve GPs?

    Why does EVERYTHING have to involve a GP 'prescribing' something?

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  • A sad day when you have to go to medical school to do this. Anyone can just go and cycle if they really want.The nanny state is out of control.

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  • Wow, I thought I was bitter and disillusioned,-you guys really take the cake!
    I presume this is a Boris-bike type scheme which is frankly much more convenient than using your own and a good alternative to taking a bus on a dry day.
    I would expect my receptionist to do the admin!

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  • Why should your receptionist be involved? Why can't the patient liaise with the company directly? Why does it have to be prescribed, and why free?

    You pay for your receptionists' time via their wages. Why would you subsidise this scheme with your personal income?

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  • As long as there are a few cardies happy to do this nonsense for pennies more nonsense will come our way.

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  • Nonsense. This is not GP work. Certainly not in any curriculum I had to do.

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  • its like any freebie, those people motivated to us it anyway will try it and those resistant to any help will resist. Wales is very hilly, country roads very narrow and full of pot holes so suspect to see more visits to A^E, physio etc etc

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