Skip to content


Utilising a digital platform to promote engagement with blue health

We want to promote physical activity and celebrate our blue space through a digital resource which will link individuals to key information.

Read comments 4
  • Proposal
  • 2022

Meet the team


  • Rebekah Burman. Health Improvement Development Officer, NHS Orkney

What is the challenge your project is going to address and how does it connect to the theme?

Blue and green space are important adjuncts to health and wellbeing and promotion of physical activity is a key public health priority. However, for some individuals planned walks may prove difficult either due to the distance, terrain, or accessibility to toilet facilities. Celebrating our blue space and reducing barriers to utilisation through the application of service improvement methodology and digitally linking information on facilities, paths, information and community photographs will occur to help support blue and green social prescribing. The project will engage the local community and potential service users,  will improve the knowledge of opportunities for blue space prescribing for prescribers and enable feedback by users of the digital platform.

What does your project aim to achieve?

We aim to provide a resource to support physical activity that links with local knowledge and community pride. For those with certain medical conditions knowledge of location of toilets, seats and activities that are within easy reach can be important. The “loo with a view” – in this case a blue view underpins our approach to creating a resource that will be of use for social prescribing and recreational activity. By focusing on key aspects like the terrain, seating opportunities and nearby facilities we want to encourage physical activity in everyone and support social prescribing. The digital approach will enable photos to be uploaded and community engagement. The project aims to enhance physical activity and improve confidence to exercise outdoors for all abilities.

Key objectives include:

Promoting green and blue health locally

Increase understanding of support needed to promote activity

Supporting development of digital skills

Promotion of social prescribing

How will the project be delivered?

The project will include public health experts and engage communities and social prescribers to share their local knowledge and promote the concept of blue health. We will identify and liaise with relevant community stakeholders to promote the project, scale impact and create shared approaches to learning.  Co-design with those with chronic conditions will be an essential component to ensure relevant information is included. Technical expertise will be sought to support the development of the platform and service improvement methodology used to ensure appropriate plan-do-study-act cycles. Interactions with the platform will be monitored and online evaluation included to measure the projects impact  on users, supplemented with other qualitative evaluation. Project risks will be incorporated in the health board’s risk governance structure and a focus kept on reducing inequalities.

How is your project going to share learning?

We will share the learning around engagement with communities and feedback from users. The learning from the project can be scaled up and applied to other locations e.g. focusing on green space or other locally important health promoting sites. The project supports NHS Orkney’s ambitions as an anchor institution, working in partnership with the community and workforce to ensure all residents in Orkney can have a voice in shaping the project.  In addition, it supports a place-based approach that creates the foundation for healthy communities. The project will take a whole systems approach. This dynamic way of working, which brings together a range of stakeholders, will enable us to develop a shared understanding and implement action to bring about sustainable, long-term system change. We will share this anchor and systems learning with other Q members and the wider system across the UK and Ireland.

How you can contribute

  • General advice on how we can improve the proposal
  • Advice from those who have previously tried a similar approach welcomed

Plan timeline

1 Jun 2022 Month 1: Establishment of project board and governance
1 Jul 2022 Month 2 - 3 Stakeholder mapping and initial coproduction meetings
1 Aug 2022 Month 3-8 Development of platform and PDSA improvement cycles
1 Feb 2023 Month 9-11 Ongoing qualitative and quantitative evaluation
1 May 2023 Month 12 Final reporting and sharing learning


  1. Thanks for the support David, we are passionate about using a digital approach to supporting people to have the confidence to utilise some of our blue space and we are so excited by the opportunities and links we can see flowing from this project.

  2. Hi Louise and Christine,

    This sounds like a really worthwhile project. I like the focus on supporting those that mind find it otherwise difficult to get out doors to improve physical and mental health and wellbeing. Look forward to you sharing the learning and outcomes.

  3. Thanks for the helpful comment, we will look to use a range of local public sector and third sector sites to help spread the information on the resources.

  4. I really like this idea, as supporting physical activity in communities is invaluable and many people struggle to know what is available but also the facilities and accessibility to them. I can see a challenge with communicating the new resources and alone can take a considerable amount of effort.
    Do consider how you could work alongside exciting well accessed resources, where you could added/expanded to, rather than start from scratch. E.g if council website or Facebook group is active then this is much better way to spread the word of the resource.
    Great idea.

Leave a comment

If you have a Q account please log in before posting your comment.

Read our comments policy before posting your comment.

This will not be publicly visible

Please note that you won't be able to edit or delete comments once posted.