The difficulty is who does the GP socially prescribe to and how? Which groups are best for their patient? Do they have the confidence to attend? Out of those 1,561 groups which ones are in their neighbourhood? What is the quality of these groups? These questions and more have all been raised and I can completely understand why.
GPs know that social prescribing can help their patients and may often be a better solution to the concerns and conditions they present with but how would you go about finding the answers to these questions?
This is where The Community Asset Navigator Programme can help. Our team of knowledgeable and skilled navigators, seconded from voluntary sector organisations, are able to spend time one to one with the person and find the right group/service for them. They are able to give them choice and support to attend that first time which is often a barrier to connecting to their community.
As the programme is led by Bolton Community and Voluntary Services it works alongside the development and quality support offer for groups, advising on and providing training around good practice in volunteering, safeguarding, funding support, policies and procedures and much more. As part of the programme the Community Investments enable us to increase capacity in the voluntary and community sector to support these referrals and look at addressing the identified gaps.