Social prescribing – just what the doctor ordered!
A six month pilot service has been introduced in Barnes to help improve patients’ wellbeing by prescribing social and leisure activities and volunteering opportunities, as well as dealing with medical needs.
Social prescribing supports people in a holistic way. It enables everyone to have greater control over their own health, recognising that people’s health can be affected by social, economic and environmental factors.
Local charity Richmond AID has been commissioned to run the trial for Barnes residents. For six months, health professionals, including GPs and pharmacists, will be able to refer people to a community navigator from Richmond AID, who will assess their need and support people towards their goals.
Dr Kate Moore, who is vice clinical chair of Richmond CCG and one of the borough’s GPs said: “I am really pleased that we are piloting social prescribing in the borough. Many people come to see us with problems that don’t need medicine. They might be feeling isolated and lonely, leading unhealthy lifestyles or they might have housing problems, for example.
“During the pilot we will be gathering feedback from local people to help us evaluate if social prescribing is of value for local people. An evaluation will be carried out to understand its impact on the patient, practices involved and the local community.”
Currently anyone over 18, living in Barnes or registered with a GP surgery in Barnes
- Barnes Surgery
- Essex House Surgery
- Glebe Road Surgery
Any healthcare professional can make a referral or you can contact the service directly.
Social prescribing can help people to access support in the following areas
- getting out and about and accessible transport
- activities, well-being services and support with healthy lifestyles
- building networks and making friends in your community
- getting back into work (if that’s what you want) or volunteering opportunities
- advice, information services and advocacy services
- housing, benefits and money advice services
- grants and food banks
- information, support and services for carers
- information, support and services for parents
- social activities around disability or long term conditions
- help with emotional and family issues
- and more…..
If you would like to know more about the service or want to make a referral you can contact us Richmond AID by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 8831 6464.
Lucy Byrne, chief executive from Richmond AID, added, “The social prescribing service has the potential to support people in a holistic way that enables GP practices to address the social and well-being needs as well as the medical needs of the person. Social prescribing will highlight the enormous potential that the voluntary and community sector can bring to people and creates a connection between primary care and community services and support. The project has the potential to reduce urgent care admissions in hospital and reduce the number of GP visits, but most importantly, to improve the health and wellbeing of people. Richmond AID is delighted to be working with Richmond CCG on this project.
To find out more about Richmond Aid, visit their website: http://www.richmondaid.org.uk