Local groups get together to improve village health and wellbeing

The case for social prescribing

Glebe Surgery and Storrington & Sullington Community Partnership (SSCP) teamed up on 27 November to develop an important new health initiative aimed at improving health and well-being in the village.

Dr Kier Newsom, of the Monastery Lane GP practice, is spearheading the drive to introduce social prescribing to the village.

Social prescribing is a way to link patients with support that already exists and to provide GPs with a non-medical referral option that can operate alongside existing treatments to improve health and well-being.

Dr Newsom addressed the Partnership’s AGM as guest speaker introducing the social prescribing initiative to assembled local groups and organisations.  He said: “social prescribing schemes are reported as achieving high levels of satisfaction from participants, primary care professionals and commissioners”

During the meeting Dr Newsom outlined how working with local organisations could transform health care options for the village by opening up new avenues for non-medical health solutions.

SSCP Chair Louise Hayton explained: “the Community Partnership is keen to create a network of local organisations with the aims of mutual support, to support the Glebe Surgery social prescribing initiative.”

Over 20 organisations, representing a full range of village life, heard Dr. Newsom explain the importance of this new approach.

From national charity Age UK to Carers Support West Sussex, Rotary Club, Friends of Meadowside, Greenfingers, Sandgate Conservation Society, Community Minibus, Macular Society, East Clayton Farm and local churches; Storrington groups and organisations were very well represented.

Social prescribing is gathering pace nationally as a fresh approach to ensuring people are linked with community services relevant to their health and conditions. Schemes can include arts, group learning, gardening, befriending, cookery, healthy eating and sports.

It recognises that health is determined by a range of social, economic and environmental factors which can be addressed in a more holistic way. And it also aims to support people to take greater control of their own health.

To keep in touch, future developments will be publicised on the Storrington community website www.storrington.org.uk. Local groups interested in this initiative can email the Partnership at sscp.storrington@gmail.com

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