Nailsea leads the way in social prescribing to improve health and wellbeing
PUBLISHED: 07:43 09 September 2019 | UPDATED: 08:08 09 September 2019
A medical surgery in Nailsea has taken on a social prescriber who is helping people to lead healthier lives and manage long-term health conditions.
Tyntesfield Medical Practice has a new practice support worker who is working alongside doctors to encourage people to be more physically and social active.
Social prescribing is becoming increasingly common and is especially useful for patients with long-term conditions, those with mental health issues, people who are lonely or isolated or have complex social needs.
Helen Todd, Tyntesfield Medical Group's new social prescriber, said: "The GP surgery is encouraging patients to adopt lifestyle changes that can prevent or improve some long-term health conditions, like type two diabetes and depression/anxiety.
"I use my knowledge of local community groups and my healthcare training to work alongside people who are going through tricky life changes.
"Ultimately, people identify their own goals and priorities - we work together to plan a personalised approach, using what is available locally."
Social prescribers take a holistic approach to people's health and wellbeing and can signpost people to a variety of activities and services from slimming groups, sports clubs and art classes to voluntary organisations, job centres and social care services.
There is growing evidence social prescribing can lead to improved quality of life and NHS England wants 1,000 new link workers in place by 2020/2021.
Nailsea Town Council recognised the need for a health hub a number of years ago, which enabled residents to find advice and support for a variety of issues and health conditions.
The town has a successful Leg Club which offers group treatment for leg conditions, support for people with diabetes and dementia, a digital support service and a variety of other activities to tackle isolation and improve people's wellbeing.
Helen Todd has been working with Number 65, in High Street, to signpost people to its KiActive project.
She is holding a Mingle event at the venue on September 17 from 4.30-6pm to enable organisations to share ideas.
A Thai Chi in the Park event is also taking place in Millennium Park, off Brockway, on October 1 at 11am.
To find out more, email Helen at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01275 866700.