Social Prescribing Portsmouth reaches its first milestone
20 March 2019

A new service in Portsmouth is helping people to find new ways of improving their sense of wellbeing – from booking Tai Chi classes, to helping people restore routine into their daily lives.

The city’s new ‘social prescribing’ service has helped people suffering from isolation, anxiety, employment worries and bereavement, putting them in touch with non-medical support which can help them to feel better.

Social Prescribing Portsmouth first opened its doors in November 2018, and since then has helped more than 100 people.

Ellenor Gray, Manager at The YOU Trust which runs the service said: “This is just the beginning. Since opening only a few months ago, we have helped a growing number of people. We meet every person as an individual and work with them to identify how their personal situation could be improved.

“Portsmouth has an amazing variety of formal services and informal community groups that are all beneficial to our day to day lives to keep us well.

“Social prescribing plays a vital role in supporting people to take the first step, and we are really pleased to be able to work alongside the local NHS to provide a simple link to the array of ever changing community support”.

Linda Collie, Clinical Leader at Portsmouth Clinical Commissioning Group said: “A person’s physical and emotional health can often be hugely affected by non-medical issues. As GPs, we do everything we can to help people to be as healthy as possible, but sometimes we can’t give our patients everything they need.

“Emotional and social wellbeing is extremely important, and having this local social prescribing service is invaluable because it means we can refer patients to ensure they are supported with their non-medical needs”.

Case studies

Kerry’s story:
Kerry had been signed off work by her GP due to anxiety and sleep issues related to her employment. The team discussed Kerry’s life situation with her to identify what could be worked on to improve her wellbeing. This included challenges at work, little time for herself and her partner, a decline in her social life and cancelling the gym.

Together we identified the benefits of a daily routine to help motivate a return to work and signposted Kerry to Advice Portsmouth to help with her difficulties within the workplace.

In early 2019 Kerry had started to feel stronger and decided to hand in her notice at work to regain ownership of her life and found a part-time role whilst she looked for other full-time work. Soon after this, she was offered three positions, which fitted her life better.

Jacob’s story:
Jacob was referred to Social Prescribing Portsmouth by his GP as he felt isolated and lonely since retiring from work. He said: “I’m not involved in the community and I’m all on my own”.

During his initial chat with the You Trust Social Prescribing team, Jacob researched activities and groups in his local area identifying those of particular interest. The team helped Jacob to book a tai chi class at Milton Village Hall, and joined him at his first class to build his confidence.

Jacob said: “I’m very grateful for your support and helping me see what’s in the community”.

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