New social health initiative piloted in Rothesay

Fiona Laurence is the social prescribing link worker at the Bute Practice.
Fiona Laurence is the social prescribing link worker at the Bute Practice.

Funding has been secured for a new approach to social services, to provide clinical solutions that don’t involve medicine.

Social care charity CARR Gomm has secured NHS Highland funding to provide Connections for Well Being, a new scheme which takes a prescription approach and applies it to activities.

The Bute Practice in Rothesay is one of two pilot sites for the link worker approach to social prescribing in Argyll, the other being the Argyll Street Practice in Dunoon.

A ‘link worker’ approach to social prescribing is designed so that people can have access to up-to-date information about services and projects within their community.

For example, if someone attends their GP with anxiety which is connected to practical issues such as debt or social issues such as loneliness, the doctor can refer to the link worker, who can take time to find out what help is available for the person.

Fiona Lawrence is the new link worker in Rothesay, and works with the patients who are referred to her to access local resources and groups.

Graham Bolton, practice manager of the Bute Practice, said: “This is an invaluable resource which taps into the available support in the community, something the GPs do not always have the time or knowledge to be fully aware of or support.

“Fiona spends considerable time in seeking out support where available.

“We are delighted to have such a service onsite and, as it grows, I’m sure more patients will appreciate the benefits it brings.”