Part of the aim of our practice is to deliver social prescribing models, a service that enables GPs, nurses and other primary care professionals to refer people to a range of local, non-clinical services.
These ‘prescriptions’ cover a wide range of activities such as referrals to arts groups and volunteering to activities that involve physical exercise, such as gardening and dance clubs. It is not all physical however, social prescribing can also include putting people in contact with services that provide help and advice with things such as debt, benefits and housing.
We have a Health Engagement Worker and Community Link Worker employed in the Practice to work with patients in linking with other health teams or local groups and activities and they work with the health team in the Practice to deliver social prescribing models that will benefit our patients.
Who can benefit?
Social prescribing is designed to support people with a wide range of social, emotional or practical needs, and many schemes are focussed on improving mental health and physical well-being. Those who could benefit from social prescribing schemes include people with mild or long-term mental health problems, vulnerable groups, people who are socially isolated, and those with chronic illnesses who frequently attend either primary or secondary health care.
Does it work?
There is good evidence that getting people involved in community life, keeping them active and improving social connections is good for both health and wellbeing.