More people will be able to access non-medical support to help improve their health with the extension of a pilot scheme.
Bailiwick Social Prescribing will be extended until the end of 2024 thanks to a Social Investment Fund grant of £152,000 awarded to the Health Improvement Commission.
The grant will contribute to the costs of the scheme’s Link Workers, training, marketing and running.
“Since the scheme launched in summer 2021, we have helped nearly 400 people and have had referrals from 95% of doctors who can refer into the scheme,” said Link Worker Manager, Trish De Carteret.
“We have seen a real need for the type of support that social prescribing can give, and the difference that it can make to people’s lives. This grant allows us to continue to meet this need. Currently the scheme is a pilot, and this funding means we can complete the time required to examine its initial impact.”
Bailiwick Social Prescribing enables health professionals to refer people to sources of support, usually in the community, to improve their health and wellbeing.
The BSP team of four Link Workers meet people with needs such as loneliness, isolation, anxiety, housing needs, financial concerns and changes in circumstance, which can be affecting their health.
They listen to the clients and find ways to help, often supporting them to attend groups such as art, singing, physical activity or volunteering.
The scheme was initially funded by the Guernsey Community Foundation for three years. The Foundation recently extended their funding of the project for a fourth year until October 2023.
Public Health Services have also provided funding for the project to date.
Health Commission Chief Executive, Dr Simon Sebire said: “The grant will allow more people to access social prescribing locally and more evidence to be gathered for the scheme’s feasibility and impact. This is vital to inform long term decisions about the role that social prescribing could play as a part of healthcare in the Bailiwick”.
Social Investment Fund lead officer, Sadie Siviter de Paucar added: “We believe that the scheme has already demonstrated its value and look forward to hearing its full impact on community healthcare".
Examples of the team’s work can be viewed at https://bsp.org.gg/case-studies/
People can access Bailiwick Social Prescribing via GP appointments at Healthcare and IslandHealth surgeries, and via Healthy Minds.
More information can be found at https://bsp.org.gg/
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