Case Study: How SPRING Social Prescribing is providing ongoing support through COVID-19 improving lives and wellbeing within the community

Case Study: How SPRING Social Prescribing is providing ongoing support through COVID-19 improving lives and wellbeing within the community

SPRING Social Prescribing helps people 18+ to address social, emotional, and practical needs by connecting them to sources of support within their community. Elemental has streamlined referrals from GPs and health care professionals and enabled SPRING to monitor data and outcomes of clients throughout the pandemic.

Background

SPRING Social Prescribing helps people 18+ to address social, emotional, and practical needs by connecting them to sources of support within their community to improve their health and wellbeing, funded by the National Lottery Community Fund. This support is ongoing throughout COVID-19.

 

During Covid-19, the Connect Well service was launched to provide support online and remotely, offering socially distanced visits and classes where appropriate, making sure clients felt connected and supported.

 

Each Social Prescriber contacts each and every client by telephone, text, or video link every week. As restrictions begin to ease in this phase of lockdown, a small number have carried out socially distanced garden visits or walking groups.

 

There are 34 SPRING Social Prescribers working across Scotland and Northern Ireland, serving 28 communities in socially deprived areas.

 

There are 15 Social Prescribers working in 10 areas across Scotland.

 

GPs and Primary Health Care professionals can refer clients to SPRING Social Prescribing. Referrals to the programme are open and SPRING Social Prescribers are on-hand to provide much needed help and support throughout this challenging time.

The Challenge

As a result of Covid-19 restrictions, SPRING Social Prescribers in Scotland have noted an increased reliance on their services for emotional and mental wellbeing support.

 

The challenge is to deliver programmes of support, dealing with issues of social isolation, loneliness, and anxiety in a socially distanced and accessible way for all clients.

 

The case study exemplifies the impact of the pandemic on mental, emotional, and physical health on people of all ages and the amazing work of Social Prescribing to support people throughout.

Outcomes

2,960 people have been referred to SPRING Social prescribing from January 2019 to June 2020. 85% of those who completed the Warwick Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale assessment reported an improvement in health and wellbeing.

 

In direct response to the mental and emotional strain of Covid-19 restrictions, the team at SPRING Social Prescribing provided “Connect Well” online workshops. It was a free weekly workshop available to anyone over 18 years and delivered via Zoom.

 

The classes ran from May to September and a total of 668 people took part.

 

1,895 people received support from March to July, 2020 with 20% of clients availing of online classes.

 

A further 11% of clients with no digital access received isolation packs which contained educational information and exercise packs. Digital disparity is an ongoing challenge.

 

Providing technology and digital training to people with none is an important step to improving health and wellbeing and keeping people connected as restrictions continue.

 

Elemental has streamlined referrals from GPs and health care professionals and enabled SPRING to monitor data and outcomes of clients throughout the pandemic.

THE Solution

SPRING Social Prescribing has adapted the service to provide remote support in the Connect Well service. Social Prescribers continue to provide support to clients, helping to alleviate the impact of social isolation, ill health, food poverty, and overcoming barriers to support services in communities throughout Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Using Elemental, SPRING Social Prescribers across the Scottish Communities for Health and Wellbeing and Healthy Living Centre Alliance receive referrals to their programmes and services from GP practices, reducing avoidable appointments, cutting waiting times, and supporting individuals to take greater control of their own health and wellbeing.

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