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Social prescribing

Voluntary Action Barnsley, in conjunction with Barnsley’s Clinical Commissioning Group are piloting a Social Prescribing service to support GP surgeries, (in the first instance) with possibilities at a later stage to include other health services.

The idea behind offering this service is to help patients with long term health conditions access further support. For example:

  • A patient with low self-esteem might like to go to meet with others in a community venue but doesn’t know what there is in their community, who to ask and how to get there.
  • A patient might benefit from meeting with Health Trainers to start a gentle exercise programme.
  • There are family issues e.g. debt and housing difficulties which are affecting a patient’s recovery.

Social prescribing is good for everyone: it links patients with non-medical support which can make a huge difference to how someone copes with an illness or condition at home.

Sometimes the problems people are dealing with, like debt or loneliness, can have a huge impact on their health. All those social problems can’t be solved with a pill. Social prescribing offers GP somewhere to signpost people to, so they can get the advice and ongoing support they may need.

GPs work closely with voluntary and community sector partners who offer a wide range of support, and this service will take that to a new level.