If you are in Launceston and would like to improve your health and wellbeing, you might be interested to meet with your local social prescribing link worker.
This service is provided by your local GP surgery via Age UK Cornwall for Launceston and Tamar Valley Primary Care Network. Jess and Claire operate out of Launceston Medical Centre, as well as the Tamar Valley Health centres in Callington and Gunnislake.
The role of a social prescribing link worker is to connect people to services and organisations available in the community, reduce social isolation and serve as a link between your local GP practice and the community. Jess said: “20% of patients are accessing their GPs for non-clinical reasons. Social prescribers are able to spend time with you, talking through what matters to you. Social prescribing can help to try and change the circumstances that can make people unwell.”
Claire added: “Generally speaking, we tend to feel good when we are physically active and spend time with others. Whilst we often intuitively know this, life can get in the way. As social prescribers we don’t tell people what to do, but instead offer the opportunity to identify barriers to health and wellbeing and support someone to remove these barriers where possible.”
Launceston is lucky enough to have several community spaces that host different support groups each week, such as the Gateway Centre, Orchard Centre and Library. Together, they support people to utilise community services to benefit their physical and mental health.
Jess, who has a background in working with children and families before starting the role last August, said: “It’s about listening to people’s individual stories, hearing what their concerns are and helping them to make goals to move forward gently. We aim for the community to thrive.”
If you would like an appointment with asocial prescriber and are registered at either Launceston Medical Centre or Tamar Valley Health, you can self-refer by phoning and speaking to a patient advisor.