Valuing Parks as Health Assets
As health assets, Parks and the natural environment contribute to the prevention and treatment of ill-health, and have the potential to significant reduce the costs of ill health and social care.
Government Policy strongly recommends that coordinated Park Health Strategies should be developed by Local Authorities and Health and Wellbeing Boards as a means of delivering numerous policy objectives and health targets.
The Wellbeing Value associated with the frequent use of local parks and green spaces is worth £34.2 BILLION PER YEAR to the entire UK adult population. and that parks and green spaces are estimated to save the NHS around £111 MILLION PER YEAR based solely on a reduction in GP visits and excluding any additional savings from prescribing or referrals. [Fields in Trust 2018]
The Parks for Health Strategy provides a framework for an integrated approach to the use of Parks for health and wellbeing
- It recognizes the use of Parks, alongside other health initiatives, for the prevention of avoidable ill-health.
- It allows Parks departments with utilize the Parks for Health Assessment to deliver health promoting Parks and Open Spaces.
- It integrates the expertise of Parks, Public Health, Clinicians within Social Prescribing and Community Groups to promote the health and wellbeing of local communities.
- It provides a vehicle to deliver public health interventions to address mental ill-health, physical inactivity and obesity, avoidable non-communicative diseases, loneliness and isolation.
- It allows the use of integrated funding models to develop new and innovative approaches to the prevention and treatment of ill-health through the use of parks and open spaces
Tisdall Associates works with Local Authorities to contribute to the development of Park based Health Strategies in line policy objectives and to help deliver health targets.