Here’s a selection of stories from LCVS’s social prescribing team and the people we are helping.
Kathy had lots of professionals offering support but when we took time to listen what we heard was that really Kathy had two goals, to walk her dog and feel a sense of belonging in her community.
To achieve these goals, we would need to help Kathy with her confidence and physical strength.
Our wonderful Link Worker Suzanne started to walk the dog with Kathy, as they did so they would speak to other dog walkers. Gradually Kathy’s confidence grew and now she walks the dog regularly in her community.
Suzanne also found a suitable exercise class for Kathy in the next town. Going to an exercise class can be daunting for anyone so initially Suzanne and Kathy went together. They also worked together on getting a bus pass for Kathy. Now Kathy uses Call Connect independently to attend her weekly class.
Initially Kathy told us that she didn’t like to mix with others very much, and we respected that.
However, with her now found confidence Kathy is enjoying chatting to people on the bus, she has made friends at the exercise class and is making a choice to mix.
When we first met Kathy she wasn’t getting out much, that was having a detrimental effect on her health and she was becoming isolated. Now Kathy gets out more, she is more confident and she smiles a great deal.
A member of Kathy’s family recently said to Suzanne, “since you started coming I never know where Kathy is, she’s always out and about”.
MT heard about social prescribing through her volunteering role with Hearing Dogs for Deaf People and she self-referred to get help with transport to hospital in Nottingham for tests and an operation.
MT is profoundly deaf and the operation would temporarily affect her physical wellbeing and put her at risk of falls.
She was also very worried that the operation was also going to affect her independence and ability to look after her own wellbeing.
Once the transport was sorted out, which saved her a considerable amount of money, the conversation with her GP and the SP Link Worker moved to what would happen after the operation.
Her GP had advised she needed carer support post-op. The cost of paying for carers was a worry for MT so she was also keen to regain her physical independence quickly, and asked for help to access appropriate support.
The SP Link Worker connected her to a local enablement service (the HART Hospital Avoidance Response Team – part of the Age UK hospital avoidance service) whose aim is to re-establish independence and reduce reliance on carers following hospital to home transfer.
As it happens, MT had post-operative complications that would have required a longer stay in hospital if she had not had the support of the SP Link Worker.
MT would have really struggled because of her disability, practically (because it required a lot of phone calls) and with her confidence, without SP support.
Immediately after her operation MT was transferred home and required support three times a day from the HART service.
After three days, she was physically able to manage her daily routines much better and reduced the support needed to twice a day.
The SP intervention saved the cost of three days in hospital/transitional care, saved several trips to her GP for further advice on accessing support at home, and MT quickly gained confidence to look after herself and rely less on expensive carer support.
It also speeded up her recovery time and got her physically active and independent again quickly.
Once MT is fully recovered, she is planning to volunteer with the SP team and use her experience to raise awareness of local support services and support other deaf people in similar situations.
MT said; “I can’t thank you enough for all the help you have given me, I don’t know what I would have done without you.”
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Since you started coming I never know where Kathy is, she’s always out and about.
Family member of Kathy, who has been helped and supported by the Social Prescribing team.
I can’t thank you enough for all the help you have given me, I don’t know what I would have done without you.
MT, who received support from a Social Prescribing Link Worker after an operation.
Get in touch with the social prescribing team in your area.
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