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Social prescribing helps keep the doctor away

Date: 

Monday, 16 March, 2020

Social prescribing is a national initiative that supports medical professionals in dealing with patients’ social needs, whilst improving people’s wellbeing.

To mark national Social Prescribing Day (Thursday 12 March 2020), residents were invited to discover how social prescribing could assist them by visiting a staffed information point in Wolsey Place Shopping Centre.

Social prescribing supports residents find non-medial ways to improve their physical health and emotional wellbeing which are traditionally can be difficult for medical services to address. Not only can social prescribing assist residents to become more independent and resilient, it can also help with prevention and can act as a catalyst to support long-term solutions to health and social-related conditions.

Through a network of trained wellbeing advisors, tailored solutions help meet the specific needs of individuals. This often involves accessing a network of services provided by local community and voluntary organisations.

Types of support that can be accessed include:

  • independent living support and advice
  • befriending, counselling, mental and emotional support groups
  • practical help such as cooking, transport and shopping
  • healthy lifestyle advice and physical activity
  • housing, benefits and financial support and advice
  • arts, music, outdoor and creative activities
  • disability support.

Cllr Colin Kemp, Woking Borough Council’s Portfolio Holder for Health and Wellbeing, said: “There are many things that can affect our health and wellbeing. Isolation, loneliness or stress caused by work, money or housing problems are sadly common causes.

“When faced with such issues instinct is to contact our doctor, however, medication on its own is not always the answer.

“Social prescribing offers a sustainable alternative to medication that can make a real difference to people’s lives, helping to improve their physical and mental health. It is vital that residents can access the right support services to help them enjoy a happy and healthy life.”

Social prescribing is available to adults over 18 years old, who are registered with a Woking-based medical surgery.

To find out how social prescribing can work for you, talk to your local medical surgery about a referral.

Alternatively, please contact the Social Prescribing Team at social.prescribing@woking.gov.uk, call 01483 743910 or visit www.woking.gov.uk/socialprescribing for more information.