Taurus Healthcare and Herefordshire Council in collaboration with HVOSS have developed a new ‘Social Prescribing’ service that enables health professionals to link patients with a wide range of non-medical support within their local communities.
This new initiative is supported by NHS England in order to encourage collaboration between the health, social and voluntary services. It recognises that health and well-being is affected by many different factors, including social, economic and environmental.
Dr Mike Hearne, Managing and Medical Director at Taurus Healthcare, says: “Patients will see their GPs for a whole host of health-related problems. However, there may be underlying causes that aren’t best dealt with by drugs or other medical interventions. For example, people with diabetes may need support to undertake more exercise or those with depression may be suffering from social isolation.
“That’s where Social Prescribers come in. They can recommend a whole host of non-medical interventions, including social groups, employment or volunteering opportunities, exercise and dance classes, education and outdoors pursuits. Social Prescribers can also signpost people to support with financial or money worries or benefits advice.
“It’s an alternative to medical intervention that can operate alongside existing medical treatments or as a stand-alone service.”
According to NHS England, studies have shown that patients with social prescriptions get better and feel better faster than those treated with medicine alone.
The Social Prescribing service is provided at all GP Practices across the county by Taurus Healthcare, a collaboration of all 20 Herefordshire GP Practices. Patients can access the service by contacting their GP Practice.