More funding needed for Social Prescribing

Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Winchester & Chandler’s Ford, Paula Ferguson, calls upon the Government to provide additional funding for Social Prescribing that’s designed to enhance both health and wellbeing.

Paula believes that while social prescribing is to be welcomed because it allows GPs to prescribe other services outside the NHS that can provide practical and emotional support, the scheme will only work if the Government funds it properly.

Paula Ferguson comments:
“What struck me at the West Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group’s AGM last week, was that given rising demand for NHS services and a growing shortage of GPs, the CCG plans to rely more and more heavily on other healthcare specialists (such as physio-therapists and pharmacists) and voluntary groups to provide some of the services patients need. In the case of Social Prescribing, that often means relying on charities and volunteers.

For example, it’s a good thing that a GP can now refer an elderly patient to a befriending service as a way of helping them to remain in their own home, but that’s only works if there are enough trained volunteers to provide the befriending service in the first place.

While I believe that Social prescribing could have real individual and social benefits for all of us, it will only work if the Government funds it properly. At the moment in Winchester alone, there are far more referrals for befriending services than there are people to deliver them.’’

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