FOLLOWING A SUCCESSFUL DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND WELLBEING BID, CORNWALL COUNCIL AND VOLUNTARY SECTOR PARTNERS HAVE PARTNERED WITH ELEMENTAL IN A DIGITAL SOCIAL PRESCRIBING PROGRAMME DESIGNED TO ENABLE HEALTH PROFESSIONALS IN CORNWALL TO PRESCRIBE NON-CLINICAL ACTIVITIES TO RESIDENTS.
EMBEDDING DIGITAL SOCIAL PRESCRIBING
Link workers will support people over the age of 18 to identify activities including volunteering, group learning, gardening, social activities, benefit advice and healthy lifestyle support, with emphasis on people living in areas where there are higher health inequalities.
Volunteer Cornwall is the lead partner in the project along with Active Plus, Age UK Cornwall, Chaos Café, CN4C, Eden Project and Pentreath Ltd, who already work alongside GPs across Cornwall.
Julie Pollard, Social Prescribing Coordinator, Volunteer Cornwall said “We are really looking forward to the efficient and effective use of a bespoke IT system for Social Prescribing that has the ability to support the Link Workers workload and has been endorsed by a local GP who has seen the benefits and facilities of the system.”
Cornwall Council and the voluntary sector partners recognised the benefits of enhancing their existing programme by embedding digital. The main objectives of the new service include:
- Ensuring an effective delivery of social prescribing by connecting up all partners involved
- Upgrade from using spreadsheets to a digital solution that’s specifically created for social prescribing
- Embed a clear referral pathway for GPs
- Embrace digital for monitoring and evaluation
A TAILORED APPROACH TO COMMUNITY-BASED CARE
Twenty-nine GP practices share the hosting of nine link workers, each employed by the partner agencies. Link workers offer a tailored approach, identifying support or activities to improve patient wellbeing. This scheme provides a foundation for the expansion of social prescribing link workers in the NHS later in 2019 to cover all of Cornwall’s GP Practices.
There is strong support from GP practices in Cornwall for social prescribing who say many people with housing or benefits problems, lifestyle issues or are lonely are coming through their doors.
Andy Brelsford, Support and Development Manager for Volunteer Cornwall added: “One of the key features of this service is that it’s about your life and your choices. You get to choose what you are working towards and the team will draw upon all of the opportunities and activities available in the locality that can help you do that, whether this is about helping you get active and feel better, being more linked in with your local community, or resolving problems on issues such as money, benefits or housing.”
Using Elemental’s Core platform, health professionals across Cornwall can now:
- Connect patients to suitable social prescribing programmes in their communities more effectively
- Evaluate the impact of a referral for an individual or across a community cohort
- Contribute to achieving public health objectives
- Reduce avoidable GP appointments, saving time, cost and resources
- Easily manage everything from within our Core platform, meaning a seamless and simplified user journey
PARTNER LED SOCIAL PRESCRIBING
‘We’re so excited about this new partnership with Cornwall Council and Volunteer Council. Julie and her team are so passionate about reducing health inequalities in communities throughout Cornwall and we know that they are going to be making a huge impact through their new digitally enhanced services. – Elemental CEO, Jennifer Neff