A Hampshire GP has welcomed the UK’s first ‘Social Prescribing Day,’ due to be held Thursday March 14.
Dr Andrew Holden, the primary care lead for NHS Fareham and Gosport and South Eastern Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Groups, said: “I’m really pleased that this special day is being held to help raise the profile of social prescribing, and help people understand what it means.
“As a GP, I know from experience that a high number of patients see their doctor because of social problems and for welfare advice – this figure has been put as high as one in four nationally.
“For this group of patients, social prescribing has been shown to improve quality of life and emotional well-being, mental and general well-being and also to improve levels of depression and anxiety.
“Social prescribing works for a wide range of people, including patients with one or more long-term conditions, people who need support with their mental health, who are lonely or isolated or who have complex social needs which affect their wellbeing.”
“The NHS Long Term Plan says that 2.5 million more people will benefit from social prescribing within five years. It will undoubtedly have a very positive impact on the nation’s health.”
Gosport Voluntary Action (GVA) and Community First Wessex co-ordinates the Hants and Isle of Wight Social Prescribing Network which has 130 members ranging from those who deliver, commission or provide services, or support social prescribing in Hampshire.
GVA also delivers several life-changing social prescribing projects including Surgery Signposting in Gosport. It has also just launched its own social prescribing page on its website https://www.gva.org.uk/groups/social-prescribing/