Healthy Prestatyn Iach teams up with nearby Parkrun to help improve patients’ wellbeing

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Healthcare staff based at Healthy Prestatyn Iach are joining up with a nearby Parkrun to encourage patients to get active.
Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board staff at the practice are sharing information about Bodelwyddan Parkrun with patients who could benefit from taking part.
Prestatyn ParkrunThe initiative forms part of the practice’s efforts to
The initiative forms part of the practice’s efforts toThe initiative forms part of the practice’s efforts to use social prescribing to support its patients’ wellbeing.
Social prescribing is where healthcare workers share information and advice about community and voluntary activities which would have a positive impact on a patient’s physical and mental health.
Parkrun events are free, inclusive five kilometre runs organised by volunteers for people of all athletic abilities. Participants are encouraged to run, jog or walk the course, with an emphasis on socialising and getting active, rather than racing against other runners.
The Bodelwyddan Parkrun takes place on the grounds of Bodelwyddan Castle, just a short distance from the hospital.
A team of keen runners from the practice are taking part in the weekly activity, and are encouraging patients to join them to help improve their overall wellbeing.
Alexis Conn, one of the Occupational Therapists based at Healthy Prestatyn Iach, said: “A few of us have been taking part in the Parkrun for a while, and we’re now trying to tell our patients about how it can benefit them too.
“It’s part of our wider efforts to share with patients classes, events and activities in the local area which would have a positive impact on their wellbeing.
“Obviously taking part, whether running it or just walking, has the health benefits associated with exercise.
“But it’s the social aspect of Parkruns which is also really beneficial – taking part can have a really positive impact on participants’ mental health, and help tackle isolation and loneliness.”
As well as encouraging patients to take part in the Parkrun, the practice is also sharing information about other activities in the community which could help patients.
Activities the team at Healthy Prestatyn have referred patients to include local art and dance groups, contributing to community allotments and environmental groups, bereavement support, and other local exercise classes, walking and cycling groups.
Alexis said: “At the heart of social prescribing is that opportunity to help people get out and meet other people while taking part in an activity which has a benefit to their wellbeing.
“Just having that routine of taking part in a weekly class or joining a local group really does make a huge difference to our overall mental and physical health.”
Glan Clwyd Hospital recently teamed up with Bodelwyddan Parkrun in a similar initiative to help people working and receiving care at the site socialise and stay active.