It’s free to all residents over 18 and focuses on prevention and management of long-term health conditions. The service offers various kinds of support, including:
– Weight management/healthy eating
– Increasing physical activity
– Reducing alcohol intake/ support to stop smoking
– Reducing blood pressure, cholesterol or blood sugars
– Financial concerns/housing/employment
– Staying safe, independent and well at home
– Carer support
– Emotional wellbeing – stress, low mood, worry, poor sleep
(Please note that the service can’t support anyone in mental health crisis.)
Once you’ve signed up, you are offered, on average, approximately three appointments with a wellbeing advisor. There are different appointment types, including home visits, face-to-face meetings in GP practices or community settings, and telephone/video consultations as well as virtual group workshops. During your appointment you may be signposted to other services that you feel would be beneficial, for example, weight management programmes and talking therapies.
Here’s an example of the work the Wellbeing Prescription team does:
A resident had been referred to the service for weight management by her GP. She was pre-diabetic, a smoker and her alcohol intake was high. During the first appointment, the resident appeared very low in mood, with poor self-care. She was recently bereaved, struggling with depression and using smoking and alcohol as a stress management technique. She was socially isolated and struggling to meet friends. Through discussion, it was evident her rising weight was a symptom of how she was feeling, not the root cause of ill health. Prior to the bereavement she had enjoyed an active life and attended a bridge club.
Having daily structure along with positive connections was important to the resident and something she expressed she missed. In the first appointment the resident was referred to the YMCA for seated exercise classes and social contact. She was also signposted to a service called BASRRA for bereavement support.
By the second appointment, the resident’s general demeanour was very positive. She had started to attend the YMCA, starting with two sessions a week. She was already feeling the benefit on her emotional health, and had reduced hip pain. She felt very pleased for stepping out of her comfort zone and taking the step to create structure and connect with others. By the third appointment, she was regularly attending the YMCA and had joined a new bridge club: she felt she’d found a sense of purpose again.
In total, there were 2,839 new referrals received in 2021/2022. Any resident can self-refer by phoning 01883 732787 or by completing the online referral form at Wellbeing Prescription.
If you have any comments/questions, please get in touch at:
Councillor Catherine Sayer is the council leader and leader of the Independents and OLRG Alliance, which runs the council with a minority administration.