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Social Prescribing

Southern Brooks provide Social Prescribing to all GP surgeries in South Gloucestershire. Our link workers have been working with patients to improve their quality of life and wellbeing since 2020.

We work with practice managers and GPs to make sure that we can offer support to everyone that may need it. GPs will be identifying those who are in need of the social prescribing service and will refer to us directly.

Social Prescribing Link Workers work holistically with individuals to identify ‘What Matters to Me?’ They help facilitate goals by linking people up to organisations, community groups, services and events that can support.

Our service is delivered through short term and brief interventions. 4-6 sessions over a varied length of time, currently mostly over the phone, though we are now able to provide face to face appointments if requested. We are able to support with:

  • Low/moderate mental health: mild generalised anxiety, sleep issues, new anxiety or low mood complaints.
  • Bereavement support or accessing support for domestic/sexual abuse.
  • Poor wellbeing e.g. loneliness and isolation.
  • Poor physical health requiring behaviour changes and support  – we work closely with OYSG for both physical and wellbeing support.
  • Support for those with LTCs that affect their physical and emotional wellbeing.
  • Housing, finances, employment, debt, other social issues affecting the individual’s health.

If your GP surgery feels that you need input from social prescriber link worker, they will refer you to us and the link worker will be in contact with you to offer support. There is nothing you need to do to access this service, if you have been identified by your surgery as needing support a link worker will be touch with you over the phone.

What is Social Prescribing?

Social prescribing is a national NHS England programme, and is a way for local agencies to refer people to a link worker. Link workers give people time, focusing on ‘what matters to me’ and taking a holistic approach to people’s health and wellbeing. They connect people to community groups and statutory services for practical and emotional support.

Social prescribing works for a wide range of people, including people:

  • with one or more long-term conditions
  • who need support with their mental health
  • who are lonely or isolated
  • who have complex social needs which affect their wellbeing.

Southern Brooks, in partnership with DHI, has been commissioned to deliver support within GP Practices in South Gloucestershire. Our Social Prescribing Link Workers are based within the Practice, and GPs can refer patients directly to them. Patients are offered 4-6 one-to-one appointments with their Link Worker, who will help them to access relevant services, support, and community groups.

NHS England has produced a summary guide to Social Prescribing, which you can read HERE.

If you would like to be referred to a Social Prescribing Link Worker, please speak to your GP.