The Green Exercise Partnership (GEP) is a joint venture between Forestry Commission Scotland, NHS Health Scotland, NHS National Services Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage. It was established in 2007 to improve links between the environment and health sectors in Scotland. It was developed in response to increasing evidence that public health can be improved through the use of the outdoors for physical activity and contact with nature. Demonstration projects have been set up at a number of hospital sites and have included improvements to existing NHS estate woodlands and greenspace including active greenspace management, new and improved footpaths, seating and interpretation. A small number of greenspace for health project officer posts have been created to work with staff and patients in the hospital greenspaces. The GEP requested research to establish the views and perceptions of corporate decision makers, estates managers, and clinicians at a number of hospital sites where an NHS greenspace demonstration project has been developed. The focus of the research is on the impacts and opportunities of greening the NHS estate.
What impacts has the greening the NHS Estate project had so far from the perspectives of clinicians, estate managers, and corporate decision makers in hospitals and Health Boards in Scotland?
What has been the progress towards mainstreaming the concept of greening the NHS Estate and what are the key factors that enable mainstreaming where it is occurring?
What opportunities have the greening the NHS Estate project provided?
Have any barriers been encountered in the demonstration projects and if so have they, or how could they, be overcome?
Further interviews are planned at more hospitals in Scotland and a new briefing note will be developed synthesising the results from the research.
Reports on hospital greenspace demonstration projects are available:
The work is being carried out by the Social and Economic Research Group in collaboration with the Green Exercise Partnership and is one element of the work being undertaken by the partnership.
Funding and partners
The Green Exercise Partnership
NHS Greenspace Demonstration Project
(includes short films and talking heads of the demonstration projects)