Cumbria doctors 'prescribe' exercise programmes

Doctors in an area of Cumbria are now able to "prescribe" exercise in a bid to boost fitness.

NHS Cumbria has agreed a referral scheme with North County Leisure which runs leisure services across Copeland.

Patients who GPs feel could benefit from being more active will be sent to one of its facilities.

During a 15-week programme, they will be offered exercise support and tips aimed at helping them to carry on being more active after it finishes.

Dr David Rogers, lead GP for Copeland, said: "For many people who have suffered a stroke, have heart problems, have diabetes or are obese, becoming more active can be a daunting prospect for fear of not knowing where to start.

"This type of programme aims to support people in this type of situation by providing professional knowledge, to help boost confidence and also help people plan realistic targets which they can aim for to continue with after their programme ends."

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