Our Strategy

Putting people at the centre of everything we do

Our approach

Our work is person centred and puts the needs of the people we work with at the core of all our activities. From refurbishing a hospital courtyard through to designing a green social prescribing system we take the time to understand the needs of all those involved and aim to create projects that meet these. We take a wide view of sustainability to ensure that we consider the social, environmental and economic impact of our activities.

Our strategy

The physical and mental health benefits of connecting people and greenspaces have long been understood and the evidence base is established and growing. The potential to do much more was recognised by NHS Lothian Charity and, in 2019, the Edinburgh and Lothians Greenspace and Health Strategy was developed. The aim of this is to establish a more coordinated and system-level approach to embedding green health and deliver the following vision and strategic objectives.

NHS Lothian Charity’s Green Health programme provides leadership and co-ordination for the Edinburgh and Lothian Greenspace and Health Strategic Framework. We work in partnership with NHS Lothian and third sector partners to develop and deliver greenspace improvements and activities for patients, staff and communities.

Developing the framework

The development of the Strategic Framework included a policy review and detailed evidence synthesis. These informed the development of two logic models:
(1) greenspace and health and wellbeing, and
(2) therapeutic and other interventions in greenspace.

Stakeholder surveys, workshops and interviews identified the wide range of green health activities currently provided across NHS Lothian. Information was collated for over 170 sites and activities – these include health walks, community and therapeutic gardening projects, Green Gyms and Branching Out projects.

The NHS green estate has been mapped and a digital [GIS] Green Health Map developed showing the NHS estate, publicly accessible greenspace, location and type of health activities, deprivation and health data. This information will be used to target the provision and resourcing of future green health activities.

The Strategic Framework identifies key actions and delivery will require coordinated action and investment by a wide range of stakeholders. This is resourced as part the Charity’s strategic development programme.

Related Publications

Policy review: Greenspace and Health Annex 1 (640 KB)

Evidence review: Greenspace and Health Annex 2 (414 KB)

Logic model –  Greenspace and Health: Greenspace and Health Annex 3 (84 KB)

Logic model – Interventions in Greenspace: Greenspace and Health Annex 4 (101 KB)

GIS map of 2019 activity: Greenspace and Health Annex 5 (1 MB)

Key site summaries (2019): Greenspace and Health Annex 6(1.3 MB)

Case studies (2019): Greenspace and Health Annex 7 (564 KB)

Priorities for action (2019): Greenspace and Health Annex 8 (134 KB)

Find out more about what we do

We work with NHS Lothian and third sector partners to develop and deliver greenspace improvements and activities for patient’s staff and communities. Our mission is to make the most of the NHS estate and community greenspaces to improve health and wellbeing and climate resilience.

Our Work

Want to know more?

If you want to know more about Green Health or get involved in supporting the delivery of NHS Lothian Charity’s Green Health Strategy, then get in touch.

Ian Mackenzie, Green Health Programme Manager