Liverpool NHS have launched a campaign to promote Social Prescribing in the city: a person-centred and holistic approach to health and wellbeing.
The term social prescribing describes an all-round personal care approach to health and wellbeing. Which could mean anything from practical financial support to being directed towards community projects.
Patients are put in touch with a “social prescriber”, or link worker, whose role is to support patients in unpicking often complex issues affecting their health and wellbeing.
This can then lead to the patient accessing support for housing or financial concerns, as well as emotional support where needed.
NHS Liverpool is working with Liverpool city council, Healthwatch Liverpool, Citizens Advice Liverpool and a huge range of community organisations on this approach.
The partnership is called Wellbeing Liverpool and launched today on March 18.
Research estimates that one in three patients visit their GP with issues that are not clinical.
Dr. Cheryl Lowes, GP in Liverpool and Community Development Lead for Primary Care, said: “As a GP, I know that the pandemic has exacerbated many people’s concerns with issues such as housing and money matters, but also isolation and general mental distress.
“I am passionate about showing patients a way through, not with unnecessary clinical interventions, but by linking patients to practical advice and wellbeing support within our communities; also known as Social Prescribing.”
Through social prescribing patients are encouraged to explore what matters to them in life, and to devise a plan based on their individual needs, with support.
Cheryl Mould, Provider Alliance Director for NHS Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “Social prescribers can offer a wealth of knowledge about the network of organisations that exist in a patient’s local community.
“Evidence shows that regular, meaningful contact with other people can help us all to feel more connected. This can support and empower everyone to take charge of improving their own health and wellbeing.”
Social prescribing is free and available to anyone who needs it.
People can contact their GP for a referral or visit Wellbeing Liverpool online here.