Legs eleven: UK GPs prescribe dancing and bingo

Pilot scheme suggests 'community prescribing' reduced hospital outpatient referrals by 20%

GPs in the UK may start writing scripts for choirs, bingo and dancing for patients, after a trial project reported successes with “community prescribing”.

Community, or social prescribing, provides GPs with a non-medical referral option to improve their patient’s health and wellbeing through activities such as fitness classes, coffee mornings and debt advice sessions.

A pilot of community prescribing in the London borough of Croydon involved 37 GP practices, who can now refer to 112 different activities under the scheme, which is part-funded by the National Health Service, according to a report in the Guardian.

Results from the pilot for the year to July 2018 have shown a 20% drop in hospital outpatient referrals and a 4% drop in emergency hospital admissions from the Parchmore Medical Centre, which has pioneered the program.

The medical centre spent almost $90,000 on