GPs are prescribing activities such as bingo to ‘frequent visitors’

Bingo and Bollywood dancing are being prescribed to help ease doctors’ workloads.

Instead of giving out pills, GPs are referring ‘frequent attenders’ to activities including gardening, boxing and free coffee mornings.

There are 112 activities on offer from the 37 practices in Croydon, south London. The pilot scheme receives nearly £800,000 in NHS funding but also relies on community volunteers.

Bingo and Bollywood dancing are being prescribed to help ease doctors’ workloads. Stock picture shows people playing bingo

Bingo and Bollywood dancing are being prescribed to help ease doctors’ workloads. Stock picture shows people playing bingo

Bingo and Bollywood dancing are being prescribed to help ease doctors’ workloads. Stock picture shows people playing bingo

Dr Agnelo Fernandes, from Parchmore medical centre in Thornton Heath, said the scheme had resulted in a marked reduction in people using appointments for non-medical issues. ‘Some of the people I used to see, I only see now in the films they make [about the activities they are involved in],’ he said.

The NHS is assessing the scheme’s impact and it could be introduced across the country.

 

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