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Primary care networks

WORK is under way in your community to support the integration of health and social care with your communities in a national initiative called ‘primary care networks’.

GP practices, working with their GP federation Taurus Healthcare, are looking to improve links with all community services, including district nurses, mental health workers, hospice teams, voluntary sector as well as opticians, local pharmacy and your local community groups.

This is being developed in four localities across the county. We have a determination to empower local community teams to join up to deliver better services, and try to prevent or reduce illness by tackling issues such as loneliness, poor housing and carers support.

One such initiative has been called social prescribing, a form of wellbeing support that Taurus healthcare/GP practices have delivered in partnership with HVOSS – a project that has been recognised by NHS England for its approach to collaboration between health and voluntary services.

Patients may attend their GP for health-related problems that can often have lots of underlying causes, which are not always best dealt with by a GP.

Helping people achieve improvements in health may often be better achieved through alternatives to pills and one-to-one treatments. For instance, a person at risk of diabetes may require support for increased exercise through initiatives such as park runs, or may be feeling depressed because of social isolation.

These ‘social prescribers’ are giving people alternative approaches by linking people to local communities using local contacts and those outlined on the WISH website www.wisherefordshire.org (a directory of groups and services available in communities).

They will also be looking to ensure the voluntary sector (through HVOSS) and communities have a prominent voice in these networks to improve links across health and social care.

This is just one example of initiatives that are developing in your community.

For more information or to get involved, email: locality.networks@taurushealthcare.co.uk