• Some residents of South London will be able to use the vouchers to buy fruit and vegetables at local shops
  • GPs will select patients for weekly £8 vouchers
  • An extra £2 will be given for each additional household member

South London GPs will prescribe fruits and vegetables to patients in an effort to combat heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

As part of the Lambeth Council scheme, eligible patients will be given weekly £8 vouchers to spend on fruits and vegetables.

Patients will be chosen by their doctors based on their medical needs and receive vouchers which can be redeemed at Brixton Market as well as local shops in Streatham and West Norwood.

For each additional family member living in their home, patients will receive an additional £2 voucher.

Lambeth’s life expectancy has dropped to a 10-year low, and health experts have previously warned that the borough’s high rate of heart disease is a concern.

Lambeth’s Joint Cabinet Member for Healthier Communities, Cllr Marcia Cameron said: “We are working hard to tackle worsening food poverty and tackle the chronic health conditions which persist in our communities, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.”

Ruth Hutt, Lambeth’s Director of Public Health was reported as saying that officials were attempting to get more men, particularly black men, to have blood pressure checks in order to reduce cardiovascular deaths in the borough.

The fruit and vegetable prescription pilot is run in collaboration with the Alexandra Rose Charity, and The Beacon Project, which aims to help people live healthier lives.

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