Social Prescribing in Southwark - this is the way forward!

A blog from our Social Prescribing clinical lead, Nicola Weaver:

“Last week in clinic a patient said to me:

‘I’m not here about my COPD. I joined a choir after a lung rehabilitation course 3 years ago and I haven’t had any trouble from my breathing since.’

This is music to my ears!

Most people know that lifestyle and stresses play a very large part in how well or unwell they are. For all sorts of reasons, however, many people have difficulty translating that knowledge into useful action to make changes in their lives. People often try something new but find it doesn’t feel right and then may lose the confidence, ‘to have another go’, particularly if they have pain or don’t feel well, as may be the case if you are living with long term health conditions.

Starting with those people who have health problems already, we aim to bring a coordinated approach across Southwark to help shape a service providing both better access to information, and ‘one to one’ support for those who need it. We aim to help people who want to improve their health by making positive changes in their lives to achieve their goal.

This is where the role of a ‘link worker’ or ‘navigator’ may come in, to help you get started, or to help overcome problems that might crop up along the way. For example, you might feel out of place in a gym but have you considered other options such as getting sociable exercise by joining a gardening project?

As a GP I can see the huge potential benefits, and as a community of health, social care and voluntary sector, we aim to try and make Social Prescribing work well for everyone.”