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Social Prescribing

 
 
 
 

Social Prescribing itself is not new. There are already great examples of where people have been helped to improve their health and wellbeing by being linked into activities in their local communities. You may already have Social Prescribing in your area, led by other agencies, such as local authorities and voluntary organisations, which you’ll need to connect to. But this hasn’t been consistent across the country.

 

What is new, is the emphasis now being given to it by the NHS. This represents a huge leap forward. NHS England has committed to making Social Prescribing Link Workers available in every GP practice across England, and to increasing the numbers of Link Workers in primary care over the next five years.

 

Imago is an established, successful provider of support and opportunity to people and communities across the South East and London, embracing a model of co-production, working with clients, funders, and partners to empower those in need.

 

Imago prides itself in offering high-quality, person-centred and outcomes-focused services which give value to commissioners and are responsive and effective for referral evidence-based solutions or options. Our network of Social Prescribers, Care Coordinators and Health and Wellbeing Coaches operate a service model which is flexible, holistic and is underpinned by a systemic approach, which includes physical health and mental wellness but identifies the wider determinants of wellbeing.

 

Social Prescribing is a key component of Universal Personalised Care which is being rolled out as part of the NHS long term Plans. It replaces the one-size-fits all approach with care that is tailored to people’s own mental and physical needs and recognises that health is not just physical but emotional and social too. Our Social Prescribers will enable local GPs and other local agencies to refer people to our Link Coordinators, Care Coordinators, and Health Coaches who operate at the heart of primary care. They provide specialist support to individuals who need more than just medical care to help them live healthier, more fulfilling lives. By providing face-to-face support with a patient, they help to unpick the things that may be holding them back and help them identify and connect up with organisations and activities in their community.

How the Social Prescribers can help

 

Social Prescribing is part of a person-centred approach recognising the individual patient or service user as the expert in their own experience and supporting and empowering them to take greater control of their own health and wellbeing. It is this approach that can be applied in many ways in different settings with both Adults and Children.

 

Our Social Prescriber Link Coordinators will provide:

  • Clear navigation and simple access to the appropriate service, including outpatient appointments.
  • Ensure there are no duplication of services or gaps between services.
  • Work together with other service providers effectively in support of individual needs.
  • Provide a range of preventative initiatives including support to universal services, that promote resilience and actively target people at risk of ill health.
  • Improve patient wellbeing and tackle social isolation, and loneliness;
  • Provide patients with a face-to-face conversation during which they can learn about opportunities and design their own personalised solutions.
  • Support to individuals to take greater control of their own health by supporting them to access a variety of activities which are typically provided by public, voluntary and community sector and social enterprise organisations.
  • Examples include public health services (stop smoking, weight management, substance misuse, physical activity), volunteering, arts activities, group learning, gardening, befriending, housing/ benefits support, home first safety checks and debt management.

     

Our Adults Mental Health Social Prescriber Link Coordinators:

  • Will enable individuals to manage their mental health by preventing deterioration; improving coping strategies; reducing anxiety and depression; improving self- esteem and confidence and increase the self-reporting of improvement in health and well-being.
  • Will work with people to understand and manage their mental health condition, as well as to develop and practice the skills which are important to live a satisfying life. We focus on ‘recovery’, wellbeing as well as good physical health.
  • Will support many people with a wide range of mental health-related needs, including, people being discharged from secondary mental health support and needing continuation from primary care support.
  • Will support people to develop the skills and self-belief to move past prior experiences, improve their resilience, change their story and achieve a better future for themselves, their families and their communities.

 

Children’s Mental Health Social Prescriber Link Coordinators:

This role will provide a range of specialist types of support for children, young people and families, seeing them face-to-face, in schools and other appropriate settings.
In addition to our direct work, we will provide resources to other professionals to be more effective in their work. The overarching aim of our services is to build resilience and to help children and young people who are being directly impacted by their mental health. To achieve this, we provide a range of different types of support for children and young people, these include:

  • Interventions for children and young people, who present with low level mental health need to prevent the escalation to specialist CAMHs.
  • ‘Whole family’ interventions to prevent intergenerational issues as a result of parent/carer mental health needs.

 

Health and Wellbeing Coaches will:

  • Coach and motivate patients through multiple sessions to identify their needs, set goals, and support them to implement their personalised health and care plan.
  • Work with people with lower activation to understand their level of knowledge, skills and confidence (their “Activation” level) when engaging with their health and wellbeing; work with the social prescribing service to connect patients to community-based activities which support their health and wellbeing.
  • Support and deliver group consultations, with clinical and non-clinical colleagues, implementing new approaches to health across primary care and supporting individuals to access peer support.
  • Work across the practices within the primary care network, including a combination of in person, remote, telephone and video consultation.
  • Engage with patients to support them in taking an active role in their health and wellbeing.
  • Provide advice and support for both patients and colleagues.
  • Provide interventions such as self-management education and peer support.
  • Provide strategies for improved daily living.
  • Support physical activity and health and wellbeing to meet with personalised care plans.
  • Tailor health and lifestyle advice effectively to the individual (e.g., adapting physical activities for individuals with mobility issues);
  • Work with the Social Prescribing team to ensure that individuals can access support to address wider social needs that can impact on their health and wellbeing, such as such as debt, poor housing, being unemployed, loneliness and caring responsibilities

 

Care Coordinators will:

  • Support people to understand their level of knowledge, skills and confidence (their “Activation” level) when engaging with their health and wellbeing, including through use of the Patient Activation Measure.
  • Provide coordination and navigation for people and their carers across health and care services, alongside working closely with Social Prescribing Link Coordinators, Health and Wellbeing Coaches and other primary care roles.
  • Support the coordination and delivery of MDTs within PCNs
 

How to access the Service

 

Imago provide these services within 8 Primary Care Networks. Currently covering – Ashford, Tunbridge Wells, Sevenoaks, Gillingham South, Medway Peninsular, Rainham, and Medway Central.

Referrals to the service can be made directly through this website (see form below) . Health and Social Care Professionals can also make a referral on your behalf. Speak to your GP who can also make a referral directly to these services.

If you have any other enquiries please contact: socialprescribing@imago.community