Fairlop GPs now offering activities on prescription

From right to left- -Gladys Xavier, Redbridge Council, Cllr Mark Santos Cabinet Member for Health an

From right to left- -Gladys Xavier, Redbridge Council, Cllr Mark Santos Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, Dr Anil Mehta, Chair of Redbridge CCG Bushra Baig- Daykin, Redbridge Council and a selection of Redbridge CVS Health and Wellbeing Buddies. - Credit: Redbridge Council

Patients visiting a GP surgery in Fairlop could find themselves being prescribed befriending or volunteering opportunities under a new pilot.

Residents who visit their doctor could find themselves being referred for support if they are feeling socially isolated, low, sad or anxious or have Type Two diabetes.

The pilot, which started on Monday, is testing how ‘social prescriptions’ can help patients who visit their GP but may not necessarily need medical help.

Patients will be offered a one-to-one appointment with a ‘health and wellbeing buddy’ who will discuss concerns and explore what is important to the individual.

They will be supported in accessing activities and services that suit their needs.

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Councillor Mark Santos, chair of the health and wellbeing board, said: “Pressure on the NHS and social care continues to grow – with the combination of funding limitations, people living longer and increasing prevalence of long-term health conditions.

“We must continue to focus on finding new ways to prevent, treat and sustainably manage ill-health.”

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It is hoped that social prescribing will enable people to help themselves better, rather than just treating the symptoms.

This way the patients are helped to deal with problems they face and are supported to improve their wellbeing.

Dr Anil Mehta, Chair of Redbridge CCG said: “The social prescribing service in Fairlop is a prime example of the NHS, local authority and community and voluntary sector coming together to improve the health and wellbeing of vulnerable people.”

The scheme is a joint initiative by Redbridge Council, Redbridge Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Redbridge Council for Voluntary Services (CVS).

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