Social prescribing, sometimes referred to as community referral, is a means of enabling GPs, nurses and other primary care professionals to refer people to a range of local, non-clinical services.
Recognising that people’s health is determined primarily by a range of social, economic and environmental factors, social prescribing seeks to address people’s needs in a holistic way. It also aims to support individuals to take greater control of their own health.
Social prescribing schemes can involve a variety of activities which are typically provided by voluntary and community sector organisations. Examples include volunteering, arts activities, group learning, gardening, befriending, cookery, healthy eating advice and a range of sports.
GPs can use the “Herts Help” service to refer people in need – using the same process as if they are referring for medical treatment. This is a ‘single point of access’ service, which gives access to the wide range of services in the voluntary and community sector that GPs and the patient may not know about. And the patient doesn’t have to accept the label ‘carer’. The “Community Navigator Service” compliments “Herts Help” where people need a face to face visit to talk things through.
For more information on Herts Help Hospital and Community Navigator Service, please visit www.hertshelp.net or to refer someone, call 0300 123 4044.