What is Social Prescribing?
Social prescribing is a way for local agencies to refer people to a link worker. Link workers give people time, focusing on ‘what matters to me’ and taking a holistic approach (looking after their mental and physical needs) to people’s health and wellbeing. They connect people to community groups and statutory services for practical and emotional support.
Link workers also support existing community groups to be accessible and sustainable, and help people to start new groups, working collaboratively with all local partners.
Social prescribing works for a wide range of people, including people:
- with one or more long-term conditions;
- who need support with their mental health;
- who are lonely or isolated;
- who have complex social needs which affect their wellbeing.
When social prescribing works well, people can be easily referred to link workers from a wide range of local agencies, including general practice, pharmacies, multi-disciplinary teams, hospital discharge teams, allied health professionals, fire service, police, job centres, social care services, housing associations and voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations. Self-referral is also encouraged.
What We Offer
Our social prescriber, Helen Kirk, will be promoting holistic health and wellbeing for people registered at the Practice; this will allow her to give patients time (often in their own homes) and to co-produce a personalised plan to meet the needs of the patient based on a "What matters to me" approach.
Following an initial assessment, she will be introducing patients to community groups, activities and support services, helping to build the patient's confidence and reduce isolation.
This means she can support patients with social issues such as housing, debt management, family support services, food banks etc.
Who Can Access the Service
Your GP will refer you to a link worker if they feel it would benefit you.
Why We Provide This Service
The Surgery is providing the Social Prescribing service, as many people go to their GP’s because it’s a familiar route to seek help. Often the problem is not just a medical need; which is when the Social Prescribing route will be offered.
Evaluations of local social prescribing schemes have reported reduced pressure on NHS services, with reductions in GP consultations, A&E attendances and hospital bed stays for people who have received social prescribing support.