Agenda item

Dawn Cummins - VIN - Social Prescribing


Social Prescribing.


What do you know about it?


MP – things to help people with their conditions away from the standard medical treatments. So gyms or activity group access for example.


DC – It’s about diverting people away from a GP surgery into community support which may be more relevant at that time. For example, money issues getting on top of a person, feeling down/depressed. May be more helpful to go to a support service instead of being given medication.


BM – People do know there are other services out there. With the high medication bill we do need to look at other options but there are instances where you do need medication.


DC – Yes this is not trying to stop that, it is for those people who need low level support. They may need medical support but it has been recognised that these community support branches are also very effective.

It is the idea that people are being prescribed to do these things, instead of medication in some instances, it’s a physical way to help try and alleviate an individuals issues.

GP’s are being given money for a year to employ a social prescriber. These people will look to find organisations or places to send people to help them with their issues and trying to divert people away from a future high level intervention by starting with low level interventions.


CW – one GP didn’t know the Social Prescriber was in post for a year, and I suggested that it may take 6 months to a year to train the Social Prescriber. So are they just paying for a person to be trained with no plan after?


DC – It has been something that has been going on for years but it has just not been formalised.


Q: How much do surgeries get?

A: Up to £35,000.

CW: Small surgeries probably won’t get that much.


BM: Seen over the last 5/10 years that surgeries are grouping together as medical centres.


DC – It’s creating links with health and social care. I know how this works and I’ve found it difficult to get the help I need.

BM – this brings me back to my earlier point, we need the support services around the table.


DC – some forms of social prescribing help tackle or include - exercise and healthy lifestyles, isolation, carer support, home adaptation, financial advice.

Social Prescribing is new to Northamptonshire, part of it is still in development. This work needs to be done with the community and voluntary sector to provide the best support. Programme focuses on those with the greatest needs. Mild mental health issues, frequent attenders, those with long term conditions will benefit the most. If you receive ongoing medical support this will still continue. The aim is to expand and make the most use out of the services that are available.


Volunteering/social action/housing sector/carers/support specific to the individual.

Looking to focus on quality and narrowing inequality.


Social Prescribers based on lifestyle risk factors.

Will be overseen by the GP, they are not going to recommend physical exercise to a person who’s health would me made worse with increased physical exertion for example.


DC: Mainly aimed at low level conditions.


CW – it could work for high risk individuals such as my polio group, with hydrotherapy etc. but yes you can’t generalise.


DC – Yes it will be need very individual.


BM – Perfectly good one stop shop downstairs, information needs to go there so all of the residents of Northampton can see these groups.

Council doesn’t advertise the forum well.


CW – apparently one person from Northampton turned up to the PPG in Corby.


CW – I see this as an experiment, they will try for a year then evaluate if this is saving the NHS money. If the evaluation shows positive results then I presume they will expand it.