In December Worcestershire Health and Wellbeing Board hosted an event to start developing the Worcestershire's approach to Social Prescribing.
So why social prescribing?
This is one of the four priorities identified as part of the Sustainability and Transformation Plan and in the GP Forward Plan. Research has shown that many appointments to GP surgeries are avoidable and due to underlying social issues, such as loneliness, worry about debt or low level mental health worries.
Social Prescribing involves a patient being referred to a social activity or advice and information to help them tackle their problem. At the event, delegates heard from local examples of good practice and national speakers, including Bromley By Bow and Warwickshire. During the workshop session delegates starting identifying what they thought a Worcestershire Model should look like.
So what next?
A partnership group are taking the work forward, including organising a visit to Bromley By Bow in early March, to get a better understand of how their model of excellence is operating. Primary Care colleagues will then be working with other partners to develop the local approach.
Progress in developing a countywide approach will be shared in the coming weeks.
Public Health Consultant
Directorate of Public Health
Worcestershire County Council