Volunteer Social Prescribers

In 2018, Parkbury House Surgery started its own programme of Social Prescribing (SP), which involved training volunteers. Since then, the programme has expanded, and now has a team of nine volunteers, with more attending our training sessions. The volunteer social prescribing team have seen over 110 patients.

The practice can refer patients to SP if they suffer from:

  • social isolation;
  • low mood;
  • mild depression;
  • anxiety;
  • addictions;
  • long term conditions;
  • physical inactivity;

And the SP programme refers patients on to community support programmes which can include:

  • social clubs;
  • physical activities;
  • arts and crafts;
  • counselling;
  • peer support groups for those with long-term conditions;
  • advice and guidance;
  • volunteering groups.

Social Prescribing addresses the individual needs of a person using a holistic approach to health. Social prescription is an alternative support which empowers people to take greater control over their own health and wellbeing. Patients experience many health benefits, such as better social connections and improved physical and mental wellbeing.

Through SP, we connect patients to a variety of local, trusted, community-led organisations and services for non-medical support. This helps people to make healthy choices, strengthen their resilience, and stay connected to their community. Additionally, SP enables community organisations to respond to the identified needs within the community they serve.

Parkbury House has also started our own ‘therapy’ garden based at our Sandridge practice. Work will be ongoing in the garden throughout the year.

The Process

  • A GP or Primary Health Care professional makes a referral to a Social Prescriber based in the surgery.
  • The Social Prescriber and the patient meet 1-1 to discuss individual support needs.
  • The patient is supported to engage in suitable community-based activities and services.
  • The social prescriber can provide on-going support during the patient’s journey to improved health and wellbeing.