North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is to continue its work with the voluntary sector to roll out social prescribing across additional GP practices in the area.
Social prescribing refers to signposting to services that complement healthcare and improve people’s overall wellbeing, such as community groups or other services that provide practical or emotional support.
In Colchester, Community360 offer integrated My Social Prescription™at Parsons Heath Medical Practice. The team reviewed some of the ongoing social and community issues affecting patients, for example transport, carers’ support, mental health issues and social isolation. They then established a hub (with weekly attendances) at Parsons Heath to offer outreach services, information and training to staff. This resulted in 700 patient conversations which have in turn helped to improve the health and wellbeing of patients, reduced demand on clinical services and enhanced patient experience. Community360 were recently shortlisted for the Social Prescribing Awards in recognition of this work.
The CCG and Community360 are now rolling out social prescribing at Colchester Medical Practice which includes Wimpole Road Surgery, Shrub End Surgery and Castle Gardens Medical Centrefrom mid-October. The offer is tailored to meet the needs of each individual GP surgery and its patients, with options such as parent groups and weight management groups at the practice or at nearby locations. Community360 can also promote self-referral for services including physiotherapy and dementia friends training for staff. Announcements of other GP practices that have agreed to participate are to follow in the coming months.
Pam Green, Chief Operating Officer from North East Essex CCG said: “We’re delighted to roll out social prescribing across additional locations in our area. Social prescribing is part of one of the 10 High Impact Actions, aimed at increasing capacity in general practice as part of the national GP Forward View.
“Social prescribing is vital to help our communities to access important information to improve their health and to feel socially included. Partnership work with the voluntary sector to support the health and wellbeing of our population is the way forward for primary care.”
Tracy Rudling, CEO at Community360 commented: “We are delighted to be working with the North East Essex CCG to deliver social prescribing into the additional 17 surgeries over the next two years. Our recent nomination and shortlisting for an award bears testament to the dedication and hard work of all of those involved in launching and delivering My Social Prescription TMinto Parsons Heath Medical Centre.”
INFORMATION: The Community360 team will be available at the following surgeries from 9am – 11.30am each week:
Monday – Wimpole Road, Tuesday – Parsons Heath, Wednesday – Castle Gardens, Thursday – Shrub End.
Pictured from left to right is Elizabeth Amodio, Head of Strategy and Performance at North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group, with Jackie Hawkins, Practice Manager at Parsons Heath Medical Practice, patient William Inkpen, who benefited from the Slipper Exchange programme, and his daughter, Helen, with Jackie Fairweather, Senior Engagement Officer at Community360. As part of the Slipper Exchange, Community 360 conducted exchange events at Parsons Heath to identify people who are at risk of falls and provided a free new pair of anti-slip slippers.