Council to expand social prescribing work to all surgeries
Release date: 20 August 2015
Cotswold District Council has announced that it will soon be extending its successful social prescription programme to all surgeries in the District.
At present the Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group can offer a social prescription to patients at various GP practices in Cirencester, Rendcomb and Lechlade, which refers them to CDC for a range of local, non-clinical services and activities. These include: matching patients with volunteer befrienders; offering membership of various social groups; home adaptations; access to community transport; counselling and peer support groups; specialist exercise classes; walking groups; and debt advice. This has been very successful and will now be extended across the District.
Commenting on this development, Cllr Sue Coakley, Cabinet Member for Health, Environment and Communities at CDC, said:
“The programme has worked really well since we introduced it about eighteen months ago, and we have established excellent links with local doctors. What it means is that when GPs are dealing with patients without direct medical needs, or whose medical needs are already well managed, they can refer them to CDC to meet their social, emotional or practical needs. The service is held in high regard and was a contributory factor to the award of £4m worth of NHS Challenge funding to the county-wide provider company a few months ago.
“I am also hopeful that this wider-ranging social prescription programme will dovetail very well with a new Public Health England ‘GP Clinical Champions’ initiative which will promote physical activity for patients. The Clinical Champions programme will enable GPs with a specialist interest in physical activity to provide peer-to-peer training through one-off education and development sessions, incorporating physical activity into patient care and supporting adult behaviour change through physical activity. This and social prescribing should help to promote a more healthy and actively engaged lifestyle, reducing the need for ambulance calls and hospital visits for patients.”