BACK IN JULY, RADIAN HOUSING ASSOCIATION KICKED OFF THEIR SOCIAL PRESCRIBING PILOT, WITH THE AIM OF TRANSFORMING THE HEALTH AND WELL-BEING OF THEIR RESIDENTS.
Over four months on, we caught up with the East Hampshire based housing provider to hear all about how they’re engaging residents in community based social prescribing programmes and services using our award-winning platform.
THE LINK BETWEEN HEALTH AND HOUSING
It’s no secret that there is a large and growing body of evidence linking poor housing and poor health. In fact, it is reported that the cost of poor housing to the NHS is £1.4 billion per year.
Housing plays a major role in people’s health and contributes to many preventable diseases and injuries, including respiratory, nervous system and cardiovascular diseases.Radian is using our social prescribing platform to connect residents to non-clinical sources of support in their community, such as nature reserves which are helping with loneliness and isolation, as well as Men’s Sheds, foraging workshops and breakfast clubs.
Since launching their digital social prescribing programme, Radian regularly receive instant social prescription referrals from GP practices, community nurses and primary care professionals, with plans for their housing officers to make referrals in the future.
KEEPING COMMUNITY AT THE CORE WITH CAFE 1759
A unique concept of Radian is Cafe 1759 – a cafe with a difference located in the heart of the community. Through our digital social prescribing platform, Radian’s neighbourhood coaches can instantly refer residents to Cafe 1759 which offers various social prescribing activities such as mental health support, diet and nutrition advice as well as exercise and mobility groups.
HEALTHY NEW TOWNS
As one of the UK’s named Healthy New Towns, Radian works closely with residents to identify those that may have fallen through the gaps between health and social care. By taking a preventative approach to the health and wellbeing of their residents and supporting them to stay healthy through social prescribing services, Radian closes the gap between health and housing, whilst also reducing long-term costs for the NHS.
BRIDGING THE GAP BETWEEN HEALTH AND HOUSING
Housing organisations such as Radian are often well placed to partner with the NHS in it’s prevention strategies because they are continuously in touch with large numbers of vulnerable people and have a long history of supporting them to live independently in the community.
The impact of housing on improving the health and wellbeing of residents results in many benefits for the NHS, such as a reduction in A&E attendances, reduced waiting times for GP appointments, lower readmission rates and enabling timely discharge from hospitals.
Kate Dench, Radian Group Community Development Officer said “We are really excited to develop our social prescription project and have had great support from Elemental throughout. Working with partners, we identified a need for a deeper, hand-holding social prescription service. We firstly get to know the referred people and then work to develop their confidence to access appropriate community groups and volunteering opportunities. Elemental continue to support our project, providing an easy to use system, fully integrated with the GPs IT software. Elemental’s features are robust, allowing us to analyse, track and evidence outcomes of the project moving forwards. As a housing provider, we are still learning about health and wellbeing, but as we learn more from the project, we are also able to amend and adapt functions to support the growth of the project.”
REPORTING ON THE RESULTS
For Radian, it’s vital to be able to demonstrate the impact that social prescribing is making in its communities. Using Elemental’s digital platform, they can now make, manage and monitor the progress of their social prescribing efforts, allowing them to evidence and report on the impact of community health and well-being activities.
Our social prescribing platform also allows Radian to;
- Facilitate more tenants and residents to access community programmes and services that enhance their health and general quality of life
- Create personalised social prescribing programmes that suit the needs of their tenants
- Boost staff capacity and strengthen relationships with other key partners
- Report on the health and social value of the role that Radian plays in alleviating the need for clinical treatments