In today’s BBC news headlines, the NHS announced that 1000 more “social prescribers” are to be trained to prescribe social activities like exercise classes to support GP’s and help reduce their workload.
St Mary’s University's Health and Exercise Science programme produces graduates who are trained to address the causes, prevention and management of chronic diseases using physical activity and health promotion strategies as tools to improve health and wellbeing. The programme targets the growing need to improve the health of an increasingly sedentary population.
Prof Helen Stokes-Lampard, chairwoman of the Royal College of General Practitioners, said the move was "incredibly welcome".
She said ensuring that GPs have "good, easy access to people who can link patients with classes or groups in the community, which could be of more benefit than any medicine..." is something doctors have been calling for a long time.
The Health and Exercise Science degree's emphasis is on practical learning and prepares students to enter a wide range of vocational careers such as the one being talked about today by the NHS.