Social Prescribing – New initiative comes to Angus

Eight new social prescribers have been appointed in Angus to support adults access a range of vital services.

The social prescribers, who are employed by Voluntary Action Angus, will be based within Angus GP practices. They offer a range of non-clinical support to patients including support with financial issues, loneliness and social isolation as well as more general signposting to local community resources such as leisure and volunteering opportunities.

Ashley McGregor, Social Prescriber in Forfar said “People who have used this service have provided very positive feedback with one person telling me it completely changed their life”

Dr Nico Grunenberg, GP at Ravenswood Surgery in Forfar, said “Having social prescribers available in my practice has been extremely valuable. Patients often saw me with mixture of issues. Many of these were not medical, but were having a big impact on their health such as housing, financial and employment problems. 

“With the social prescribers in my team, we are now able to help patients to overcome some of these hurdles and look towards the future.”

Hayley Mearns, Deputy Chief Executive at Voluntary Action Angus said “Social prescribing is such a valuable service and it is a privilege for a third sector organisation to be able to deliver this to the communities of Angus. Ourselves and the Health and Social Care Partnership have witnessed the results of social prescribing first hand though a pilot project and we’re now absolutely delighted by the opportunity of being able to roll this out throughout the county.” 

Gail Smith, Angus Health and Social Care Partnership Interim Chief Officer said “This is an important and valuable development not only for the third sector but for the whole community of Angus.

“Social prescribing is available for everyone. If people feel they could do with an extra bit of support I would encourage them to seek help”

Patients can access the service through a healthcare professional or self-referral. Practice receptionists will be able to advise patients on how to arrange an appointment. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the majority of appointments with social prescribers are currently being offered over the phone.

For more information call Voluntary Action Angus on 01307 466113.