Social Prescribing in Northumberland is a new approach to healthcare with the aim of supporting patients to identify their wider needs and begin to take control of their own health.
What it is and how it helps?
Sometimes people visit their GP with problems caused or made worse by non-medical issues. E.g. this could arise from financial worries, isolation, loneliness or simply lack of confidence. Or perhaps a physical health condition could be improved by getting fit or more mobile.
The social prescribing approach aims to treat the person and not just the illness, so you may be referred to a Link Worker, who will help uncover the issues and work with you to find the right support.
This may be help to get started with social, creative or physical activities, or find advice on housing, benefits and finances, or suggest effective ways to look after yourself if you have a long term health condition.
Who would provide support?
If you need extra help and individual support you may be referred to a designated Link Worker who will help identify a suitable way forward based on what you personally want to achieve.
You may meet Support Planners, Health Trainers and Locality Coordinators. They have separate roles but liaise closely since they all seek to improve health and wellbeing by guiding individuals towards the right solutions for their needs.
Some GP practices may direct you to Care Navigators who are trained to quickly signpost you to the most appropriate professional or service. This may be within the practice or other NHS settings, or social care or in the community. Please ask your practice receptionist for details.
(Extract from the Golden Guide Northumberland, 2020)
For more on Health and Wellbeing support, including local support groups see pages 60-83 in the Golden Guide Northumberland 2020, and see pages 58-82 in the Golden Guide Newcastle & North Tyneside 2019.