Social prescribing is a non-medical prescription which involves engaging with the person and connecting them to the right services for what the individual needs at that time. Trained community link workers are stationed at local GP surgeries or meet people out in the community to discuss their health. It has been active in the East Riding since November 2017, and has already helped thousands of local people be happy and well.
Social prescribing is about linking residents with local community groups and services that offer support and advice to help them, improving self-care and tackling the social causes of ill health and wellbeing. Following a successful trial in early 2018, social prescribing has been rolled out across all GP Practices in the East Riding.
Link workers are based in all East Riding GPs and offer social prescribing to local residents to ensure the right support is made available to them when they need it.
Issues they can help with include social activities, how to meet new friends, exercise classes to improve mental and physical wellbeing and long term conditions groups; in some areas, debt and welfare support or supporting residents to implement their own community-based projects.
The pilot found a number of people regularly visited their GP for underlying non-medical issues that, if dealt with, could reduce reliance on medical interventions and help them better manage existing long-term or complex conditions.
The social prescribing team can help support people to deal with a variety of things that affect their health and wellbeing. They will spend time with residents, listen to what they want to make better and then provide support to help make it happen.
Link workers, based in GP practices, can spend more time getting to the cause of the issues are, rather than a GP who has an allotted time. Together, you and your link worker will co-design and agree a personalised plan of action.
Social Prescribing does not replace medical services but instead works with them and the patient to identify and deal with underlying issues that hinder the person's quality of life and health and wellbeing.
East Riding of Yorkshire Council is one of many organisations involved in the social prescribing service locally. Others include:
To contact a local link worker or make an appointment, residents can call in to their GP, call free on 0800 9177752 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is a huge range of groups and clubs in the East Riding that you can be referred or introduced to. For example, there are local branches of popular men's activity group Men in Sheds that have worked closely with the social prescribing team. Find out more in the short video.
Search for contact details and meeting times for a range of local groups and clubs in the community directory. Use keywords, locations or try the advanced filters to find a group or club that interests you.
The Health and Wellbeing Team are the Community Builders for the Social Prescribing programme. As a part of the social prescribing cycle, the Health & Wellbeing Team (Community Builders) help to promote and create social and activity groups in the area. Find out more about their role and how they can help your group, whether you are established with members or want to start up.
For voluntary or community groups and those with a good idea or wishing to volunteer, help and support is available from the Smile Foundation by signing up to the East Riding Community Hive. This free service provides information and access to local funding grants, support on how to run a group, training and safeguarding, free equipment to borrow and much more.
Search the Community directory for local groups, clubs, small charities, volunteer-run and social support near you.
Search the Services directory for local and national services and support you can contact in person, online and over the phone.