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Social Prescribing - what keeps you healthy is more than just medical support

Published on 12 March 2019 02:11 PM

This month we sat down with Age UK Norfolk's Social Prescriber, Andrea, to find out more about the service and how it's helping people in Norfolk.

What is Social Prescribing?

Social Prescribing seeks to help meet people's needs in a holistic way and help them to take greater control of their own health. We recognise that what keeps you healthy is more than just medical support.

Social Prescribing is a means of enabling GPs, nurses and other primary care professionals to refer people to a range of local, non-clinical services. Recognising that people’s health is determined primarily by a range of social, economic and environmental factors, social prescribing seeks to address people’s needs in a holistic way and support individuals to take greater control of their own health. One of Norfolk’s Social Prescribing programmes key goals is to help reduce unnecessary demand on front-line health and social care services. 

Social Prescribing is being rolled out across the county with funding from Norfolk County Council. In each area a slightly different approach is being taken in order to respond to different local needs.

Who can it help?

Social Prescribing is open to all adults and can help a range of people including those with:

Those with low mood or low level anxiety

People with concerns about money, housing, benefits or legal issues

People with mobility or weight management concerns

Those experiencing dementia or memory loss

Individuals who need help getting into employment or developing their skills.

Those concerned about their caring responsibilities

People who are lonely or social isolated

 

Individuals with long-term conditions where support or activity groups may help improve their self-care or wellbeing

What do I do?

As a Living Well Connector I am able to support people directly on a range of issues as well as refer into more specialist services. I link people up with community activities that they may find beneficial. Here are a few examples of what can be provided:  

Memory clubs/dementia cafe’s

Lunch clubs and social activities, clubs and societies

Welfare benefits advice

Befriending

Gardening

Arts activities

Cookery classes and healthy eating

Sports and exercise groups

Condition support groups

Carer Support

Volunteering opportunities

Affordable warmth advice

Support groups for specific conditions

Support with a bereavement

Advice, grants and loans for home repairs and adaptations

Housing/homelessness

Community transport

 

Motivation and coaching support

How does it Work

A person is referred ---->  A Living Well Connector meets with you ---->  Living Well Connector provides support and connects you with other types of help

At the first meeting I will work with the person to develop an action plan. This will include the support I will provide, action the client to commit to undertake actions themselves and connect with organisations they would like us to connect them with.

Together with the Living Well Worker they might update and change the actions in the plan, and may meet the Living Well Worker on a few occasions or email or talk on the phone depending on their needs. The goal is to give them just enough help and support to achieve their aims whilst helping the person to stay independent. Once all the actions on the plan are complete we’ll close the case but the Living Well Workers will follow-up with the client after a few months to see how they are getting on and as part of the evaluation for the service.

Social Prescribing Referrals

For more information and referrals, please speak to your GP.