Linking people with community activities and services to improve their health and wellbeing
Social prescribing can connect people to non-medical community support if they are:
- Feeling socially isolated or looking for more social contact.
- Wanting to improve their physical health through exercise or healthy eating.
- Lacking confidence.
- Needing some practical support and information to improve their situation.
We aim to help people live well and safely at home, and maintain healthy lives by linking them to the support and activities offered by Reading’s voluntary and community groups. This, in turn, can support a reduction in their use of GP appointments, calls to 111 and 999, visits to A&E, avoidable emergency hospital admissions and reliance on social care packages.
Referrals can be made by:
- GPs, practice staff, and other healthcare practitioners
- Talking Therapies
- Reading Borough Council Adult Social Care
- Royal Berkshire Hospital Occupational Therapists
Referrals can be accepted for clients aged 18 years or over, who meet one or more of the following criteria:
- Living with long-term health conditions
- Lack of social contact
- Poor physical health
- Low confidence levels
- Needing practical support, e.g. with form filling, or attending outpatient appointments
- Needing advice and information about benefits/finances
- Relying on avoidable GP appointments
Working with Age UK Berkshire
Reading Voluntary Action and Age UK Berkshire work in partnership to deliver the Reading Social Prescribing service, accepting referrals for any clients who are registered with Reading GP practices (including practices in Mortimer, Pangbourne and Theale). We employ a small team of part-time Social Prescribers who have the experience and expertise to deliver a prompt, flexible, quality service, which meets the individual needs of the clients they support.
The Social Prescribing service offers three levels of support:
- Signposting for those people who are looking for specific information about a service or activity, e.g. a support group, lunch club, or exercise class.
- More in-depth support to help someone think about changes that will improve their health and wellbeing. We will arrange an initial appointment when we use a simple Outcomes Star to help identify areas in the client’s life where local activities and support could help. Working together, we will agree the client’s health goals and find the support they need. We will follow up by telephone at regular intervals over a 3 to 4 month period, before arranging a second appointment to see how things have changed for the client.
- Social Prescribing “plus” is for people who need additional support and some regular visits to help them to apply for benefits, attend appointments, access activities etc. This may be for someone who is housebound and/or has more complex needs, such as a number of long-term health conditions. Again, this support is offered over a 3 to 4 month period with a final appointment to assess how things have changed.
Find out more
Phone 0118 937 2273 and ask for the Social Prescribing service or email firstname.lastname@example.org.