A New Service
NHS West Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group has funded a partnership of voluntary organisations, led by the charity BARCA, to deliver a social prescribing service in conjunction with the 38 GP surgeries in West Leeds. Better Leeds Communities, Leeds MIND and Touchstone are formal partners, but many more grass roots organisations and community groups will be part of essential voluntary sector support and delivery. This pilot project will deliver until August 2015 and an important part of the project will be careful evaluation of its success.
The main aim is to improve the wider health and wellbeing of patients. The project will improve services for patients by providing GPs with a link to refer patients to local groups and community activities in the voluntary sector. Referred patients will be supported either in a group, or one-to-one to help them to develop the skills, knowledge and confidence to self-manage their condition. This approach is called ‘social prescribing’. The ambition is to connect up GP clinical treatments with community based solutions to help people to manage their health issues as effectively as possible.
A wide range of local community activities and groups already exist, some which are connected to local GP practices. The West Leeds PEP will ensure it fits in with existing arrangements. A number of different social prescription initiatives are planned across the city by several voluntary sector providers. BARCA will liaise with all of these new developments to ensure we can deliver the best service for patients.
How The Project Will Work
GP’s will identify patients who could benefit from the support of the West Leeds PEP. Discussion with the patient will clarify what will work for them and information on the project will be provided. If a referral is agreed, PEP will make contact and meet the patient to discuss how best they may be supported by available services. This might be one to one support or linking to a group or activity. PEP staff will provide personal support for patients to attend their first session and get started in a new group, service or activity.
Have a look at this short PEP film on youtube which explains the project from the perspectives of GP’s, Staff and Beneficiaries