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GPs should give patients walking on prescription, suggests MP

GPs should be able to prescribe walking to patients ‘to improve their life’, a Conservative MP has suggested.

Macclesfield MP David Rutley said there is a case for CCGs to look at how they can encourage patients to walk, and enable GPs to prescribe it to improve their health.

Although Mr Rutley, who co-chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Mountaineering Group, admitted his idea was ‘radical’ and that GPs may struggle to convince ‘grumpy teenagers’ to adhere to the prescription.

Speaking in a House of Commons debate on rural communities earlier this month, Mr Rutley said: ‘Thinking a little more radically, there is a case for clinical commissioning groups and our general practitioners to recognise the role that walking plays and, on occasion, to prescribe walking for people as a way for them to improve their life.

‘I agree that it may be difficult for grumpy teenagers, but there is a case to be made for encouraging more people to do this.’

‘I very much hope that in the year ahead we can make significant progress on walking and connecting that to our rural communities, just as the cycling lobby has been very successfully doing over the past couple of years. It has to be commended, and I support that fully, but we now need to get to the next level and bring that to walking, which is an important and sustainable form of transport.’

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