Mr R, father of four school-aged children, is relieved to have been able to support his family during a really testing time, with understanding from his GP and support from Rose from the Social Prescribing team.

About the team

During the COVID outbreak, the Social Prescribing team have continued to act on referrals from GPs, and helped reduce the non-clinical workload of GPs by liaising with local social care providers to improve people’s lives. During the months of March to June, they have completed a massive 2,561 COVID wellness checks with patients via the telephone.

Some of the team members (photo taken pre-social distancing measures)

The team members have been pulling out all of the stops to support people in need. Claire from Rosewood PCN managed to secure food parcel donations and delivered 122 Morrison’s donated food parcels. Dawn and Victoria from Sherwood PCN have been nominated for the national Social Prescribing Network Esteem Awards, which recognise incredible work during Covid-19. Gilly Hagen, NHS Patient Leader for Mid Notts, put their names forward, saying:

Our Social Prescribing Link Workers, Dawn and Victoria, and the CCG have formed a formidable team in one of the most underprivileged areas of the country, with around 90,000 people. Once the pandemic hit, they gave continued care and support and built up an impressive network of linked group and statutory agency networks. They are truly `can do people’, and their enthusiasm and commitment has meant patients feel supported and they give groups they involve in their work a sense of being part of something bigger.

David Ainsworth, NHS Locality Director and a leading supporter of the social prescribing movement, says:

We are proud of our approach as a partnership to social prescribing, there is lots of great work going on from the team to protect our most vulnerable people and communities during COVID and beyond.

About Mr R and his four children

Mr R’s* GP referred him to the social prescribing team for support with mental health and wellbeing. Mr R has four children and worries about them, and about money. Since they’ve been off school and at home for several months, there have been additional costs and Mr R has struggled to budget for uniforms, feminine hygiene products and stationary. He realises he’s left it too late to organise things, and he hasn’t got the finances to do it all, but he’s desperate to support his family back to school, to learn and be with their friends.

Rose works in the Mansfield North PCN area and picked up the referral. She joins PICS with extensive experience of working in a wide range of services across health and social care settings. Her expertise is particularly with parents and their families in socially disadvantaged circumstances, adults with post-natal depression, those lacking confidence and self-esteem and people looking for further training or employment. She says: “I work with people as equal partners and support them so they move into a position where they can make positive decisions about their health and future.”

Rose talked with Mr R about his finances and found ways to access support, including food banks and financial assessments for benefits. Rose talked with local church groups, a local charity shop, and also managed so raise some funds to gift the children with clothes, hair accessories, school bags, socks and tights.

She helped Mr R arrange uniform fittings for the children and discounts for blazers, and appointments for them to have their hair cut. She helped Mr R find out more information about the start of school so they were sure they were starting on the correct day and time, and were adhering to new COVID guidelines. They talked to the school to arrange a staggered return for the children, to help reduce anxieties and help the family manage the transition back from such a long time away.

They’re still in touch, with Rose being available on the phone for wellbeing chats and to help Mr R remember about his appointments with Mind and the Citizens Advice Bureau.

Mr R got in touch to thank the team:

All I can say is a big thank you for helping me out. I’ve never been like this and wouldn’t ask anything off anyone.

*Mr R asked for his identity to be kept anonymous, but consented for his story to be shared.