Social Prescribing

Health and wellbeing go hand in hand

Social Prescribing Link Workers and Health and Wellbeing Coaches take time to motivate and support people to make a change so that they can enjoy a better quality of life.

Social Prescribers help with issues that cause strain, worry and low mood by listening to what’s important to the patient, helping explore solutions and agreeing an achievable plan. It makes a big difference to talk through goals with someone supportive and who is able to link them with organisations that can help. Our practical and emotional support has helped hundreds of people in our communities increase their confidence and self-esteem by connecting people with other people, places and activities.

Wellness Coaches provide classes and one-to-one support for patients who want to be more active and explore new ways to they take care of themselves. Our professional and experienced coaches focus on empowering people to be more mindful of the decisions they make and feel more control of their bodies.

Who are the services for?

Social prescribers work with a wide range of people, from teenagers and independent retirees to working parents and residents of care homes. The services are designed to ease those with complex social needs which affect their wellbeing, such as:

  • Families or patients who visit their GP and hospital very frequently.
  • People whose long-term health conditions aren’t being managed holistically.
  • Those who are not confident to manage their own health and need support to activate a more comfortable way of living.
  • Some with mild to moderate mental health issues such as stress, anxiety and low mood.
  • Any who would benefit from coaching to help change an element of their self-care behaviour.
  • Members of the community who are socially isolated, lonely or disconnected.
  • Anyone who is looking for support, guidance and motivation to make lifestyle changes.

GPs, Nurses and Practice staff can refer people to our free and confidential service. A Social Prescriber will then arrange a time with the patient for a conversation. The Link Workers offer support ranging from six to 12 interventions over a three month period.

Health and Wellbeing Coaches particularly work with patients with Diabetes or pre-Diabetes and respiratory conditions. They provide structured coaching sessions during one-to-one and group classes to help people take a more active role in their own health, by:

  • Reduce their risk of becoming ill.
  • Improving how they manage their chronic conditions.
  • Feel empowered them to make positive decisions.
  • Help the body to use insulin better.
  • Improve blood glucose and lower blood pressure.

GPs, Nurses and Practice staff can refer people to our free and confidential one-to-one services, and patients can ask to sign up to group classes and exercise sessions.

Non-urgent advice: Did you know?

One in five people who see their GP are troubled by non-medical issues and many of them have complex conditions or circumstances. Health issues spill over into personal circumstances and over time, reduce their quality of life and everyday experience. It’s very easy to get overwhelmed and unable to reach out to make the connections that could make a difference to their situation. It’s estimated that 70 per cent of the NHS budget goes towards supporting people with long-term health conditions.

Non-urgent advice: Mr W’s story, from Eastwood

Mr W was referred for low mood and isolation; he was having issues in his marriage, he had hardly left his house in years, had reduced mobility and put on weight. He felt unable to get back into any exercise. The link worker worked with the patient to identify what mattered to him in his life. She arranged activities and trips for him to try that were based on his interests and took into account his anxieties. They set goals together and over the next couple of months, the patient managed to go around town with his wife shopping and worked with his pain team to reduce his pain medication. He attended a slimming club with his daughter and started to take regular exercise, with walks in nature and swimming.

Mr W said, “Thank you so much for your support and confidence. I couldn’t have done it without that”.