Reading’s Social Prescribers – a multi-lingual team

Article date
3 June 2015
Primary interest

Reading Voluntary Action has recruited  Rachel Goater and Binita Shah, to be Social Prescribers in the Reading Walk-in Health Centre and Tilehurst surgeries.  Many of you will already know Rachel in her many community development roles; Binita is new to RVA but not to the voluntary sector in Reading.

Between them, Rachel and Binita speak at least six languages, Nepalese, Urdu, Hindi, Russian, Latvian and English as well as a smattering of Polish!  A fantastic resource for the Social Prescribing pilot and for the patients registered with both surgeries.

A quick reminder about Social Prescribing…..

Social Prescribing is structured process that links patients with non-medical support to improve their health and encourage them to make healthy lifestyle choices. A GP recognises that their patient would benefit for additional support to improve their health and wellbeing, and can refer that patient to the social prescriber.

For example, a patient, Bill, has been feeling depressed since his wife died (he was her full-time carer). He is prescribed an anti-depressant but needs encouragement to get out of the house and to regain some purpose in his life.

The Social Prescriber has the time and skills to help the patient identify their health goals and how they can achieve them. They will use the Well-being Star as an initial and on-going assessment tool to help measure improvements as the patient benefits from a range of activities and services available in their local community. For Bill, this might be a health walk, joining the local Men’s Shed or Timebank or being put in touch with Cruse Bereavement.

Does your organisation provide activities and services that help to support  health and wellbeing? Then contact us to find out how Social Prescribing can help link patients with you.