Social prescribing service
Social prescribing aims to get to the root causes of people’s ill health and bring about lasting change. The Social Prescribing Service has been running in Skelmersdale since April 2018 and has now been widened to cover the whole of West Lancs. The Social Prescribing Service transferred from CVS to OWLS (GP Federation) in April 2023.
Any resident can be referred into it by their GP.
For more information email email@example.com
Social prescribing service
What is Social Prescribing?
Social prescribing recognises that there’s lots of things that affect our health.
It finds ways of tackling these things to help improve a person’s health and supports people to take greater control of their own lives.
What can the service offer to you?
A West Lancs resident can now be referred by their GP to the Social Prescribing service. A social prescriber will then work with them on a one to one basis to identify the non-medical issues affecting their health and look at the range of services that could help. They will work in partnership with the person to identify the best social or physical activities in the community, help them connect with it, and then stay alongside them on your journey to improved wellbeing. They will also make sure that feedback is given to the referring GP as to how the person are progressing.
Social Prescribers can introduce people to a wide range of support locally including:
- Bereavement support group
- Gardening and growing
- Learning digital skills
- Film, music and & walking groups
- Social and healthy activities
- Knit and natter groups
- Singing for health
Here’s what some clients have to say about our service:
(names have been changed)
Anne was referred to the Social Prescribing Service due to a recent diagnosis of depression, following a breakdown at work. She had been signed off work and her confidence and self-esteem had plummeted. Her low mood was beginning to affect her relationship at home and she was feeling overwhelmed with everything.
The Social Prescribing Service supported Anne to access some counselling and directed her towards some phone apps that would assist her to learn some strategies for self-help. Anne had also mentioned that she would like to access some form of exercise, but wasn’t keen on going to the gym. The Social Prescribing Service found a badminton club and arranged for her to go along and have a trial session. Through this support from the Social Prescribing Service and accessing counselling, Anne has been able to go back to work and her confidence has improved greatly.
Jayne was referred to Social Prescribing Service due to a bereavement which has caused severe anxiety. She was experiencing panic attacks which were stopping her from leaving the house on her own and she had lost a significant amount of weight and muscle mass, due to a lack of motivation to eat or exercise. The Social Prescribing service supported Jayne to access her local gym referral scheme, where she undertook 12 weeks of free weekly exercise sessions with supervision from a personal trainer. She was also introduced to a support group to meet other people who were experiencing grief and meeting with others who were going through the same thing helped a great deal.
“Help, that’s what you have done for me. You seem to have turned my life around.”
Tim has mild learning difficulties and was referred to the SP Service as his mum had passed away and he had become socially isolated with significantly low mood. Tim was living alone, since the loss of his mother and he had become overwhelmed with the household duties, as well as slipping into debt. The Social Prescribing Service supported Tim to get out in the community and subsequently, he joined a martial arts club. By attending the group on a weekly basis his physical health improved and his social circle had started to widen. Once his confidence started to improve, he was also introduced to the West Lancashire Volunteer Centre who placed him in a volunteer role that allowed him to gain new skills and occupy his time. Through his volunteering role he successfully secured a part time paid job.
“I’m doing something every day now. I’ve made some friends at the martial arts classes, I’m really learning a lot. My sisters haven’t had to pester me to clean the house as I do a bit each day now”
Jessica was referred to the Social Prescribing Team as she was suffering with low mood and depression, following some historic domestic violence. Jessica’s self-esteem was really low and she was experiencing thoughts about ending her life. The Social Prescribing Service supported her to access some counselling to try and deal with effects from the previous abuse. As she was currently going through the Family Courts, she was also introduced to CAFCASS and the Citizen’s Advice Bureau for some advice and advocacy.
“The counselling has definitely been beneficial. I can’t explain how much of a difference it has made. I feel like a weight has been lifted. Before I met you, I didn’t think that I would make it into 2019, but I have had a really good start to the year so far. I had sat on a waiting list for counselling for so long and got nowhere, but I met you and you sorted counselling out for me straight away and I can’t thank you enough for what you have done for me!”
Men’s bereavement support group
The men’s bereavement support group was formed by the Social Prescribing team to support a number of bereaved men who had all been individually referred to the service. All have benefitted greatly. Read the full story here.
Social Prescribing Service Team
- Jacqui Sutton: Social Prescribing – Project Lead
- Cath Carmichael: Team Leader
- Phil Wink: Team Leader
- Nicci Sutton – Kelsall: Team Leader
- Rebekah Boyd: Team Leader
- Gill Blane: Social Prescriber
- Gill White: Social Prescriber
- Christine Rooney: Social Prescriber
- Debbie Leyland – Administrator
The Social Prescribing Service transferred from CVS to OWLS (GP Federation) in April 2023. Please contact Jacqui Sutton for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on how the wider factors that affect our health, do have a look at the following information from the Health Foundation
How is our health influenced by:
The following information packs are designed as training support.
Each pack takes around 30 minutes (reading; browsing web links):
- ABCD (Asset Based Community Development) – an introduction
- Social Prescribing – West Lancashire
- Better Conversations – active patients
- Better Conversations – a health coach coalition guide
- Elemental – recording the journey and impact
Each pack offers (a) tips related to each topic; (b) information on further training opportunities