York CVS are pleased to announce that the development of a social prescribing service has now been given the go ahead. The social prescribing model enables patients attending their GP to be referred to non-medical interventions that can support their health and wellbeing needs. This involves access to voluntary and community services that provide a range of support which could include mentoring and befriending, skills and confidence building, volunteering opportunities, healthy lifestyle programmes and welfare benefits / budgeting advice. The support is tailored to the patient’s needs and offers other ways to help improve health and wellbeing. We are in the early stages of developing the service and will be recruiting a Social Prescribing Co-ordinator to work with partner agencies involved in its delivery. Key partners include the voluntary and community sector, City of York Council (who have provided funding), Priory Medical Group and the Clinical Commissioning Group.

Lesley Godfrey, a GP with Priory Medical Group and clinical lead of the York Integrated Care Team, is “looking forward to working with the community and voluntary sector to create and implement a social prescribing scheme. It is anticipated that this will enable the residents of City of York improved access to the support and advice that is currently already available locally, by encouraging referrals from health professionals”.

Melanie McQueen, Deputy CEO at York CVS, is “excited to work with partners to pilot this innovative approach. Social prescribing is gaining pace nationally as a holistic way to support individuals presenting to their GP with a range of needs. It offers access to non-medical support that can impact positively on individuals’ wellbeing”. Watch this space as more details will be coming soon about how you may be able to get involved.