Connect for Health

Social Prescribing

What is Social Prescribing?

Social prescribing enables GPs, nurses and other primary care professionals to refer people to a range of local, non-clinical services.

NHS England describes social prescribing as “enabling all local agencies to refer people to a link worker”. Link workers- known locally as Community Connectors- give people time and focus on what matters to the person as identified through shared decision making or personalised care and support planning. They connect people to community groups and agencies for practical and emotional support.

Social prescribing particularly works for a wide range of people, including those:

  • With one or more long-term conditions,
  • Who need support with their mental health.
  • Who are lonely or isolated.
  • Who have complex social needs which affect their wellbeing.

Connect for Health social prescribing programme

What is Connect for Health?

We know that taking care of your health involves more than just medicine. With Connect for Health you can get specialist support for more than medical issues.

Your local Community Connector will arrange an appointment to spend time with you exploring what activities and/or local support could improve your health and wellbeing.

Your Community Connector will then assist and support you to plan your next steps.

What do Community Connectors do?

The Community Connector can help you with a range of issues, including:

  • Social isolation and loneliness
  • Welfare benefits and financial support
  • Emotional wellbeing
  • Healthy lifestyle choices
  • Arts, culture and creative activities
  • Life changing events such as birth, retirement, bereavement
  • Long term health conditions
  • Loss of confidence/purpose
  • Poor health linked to housing or housing conditions
  • Accessing work, training, education and volunteering

A Community Connector is someone who is:

  • Available to talk to you confidentially
  • Able to give practical, helpful, non-judgemental advice
  • Able to help you decide what you would like to do to improve your health and wellbeing
  • Able to refer you to appropriate services and activities.

The first appointment could be between one hour and one hour and 30 minutes, any sessions after this will be a minimum of 45 minutes, however all session times will be tailored to your own needs.

Which areas is Connect for Health being delivered in?

The Connect for Health programme is being delivered in Ipswich and east Suffolk. Your GP, a health professional, or someone in your community will be able to refer you (with your permission), or you can refer yourself by calling  the below telephone numbers  and asking  for the Connect for Health team.

Suffolk Family Carers are delivering the Connect for Health programme in the following areas:

Eye and North West (including Fressingfield, Debenham, Mendlesham, Ixworth, Claydon and surrounding areas): call Suffolk Family Carers 01473 835477

Stowmarket and Needham Market and surrounding areas: call Suffolk Family Carers 01473 835477

South Rural (including Hadleigh, East Bergholt, Shotley Peninsula and surrounding areas): call Suffolk Family Carers 01473 835477

Who are the Community Connectors in my area?

Our Community Connectors are linked with GP Practices and deliver the programme in the community. The Connect for Health programme is for individuals registered at the following GP Practices:

Dominic – Eye and North West:

  • Eye Health Centre
  • Fressingfield
  • Mendlesham Health Centre

Chris – Eye and North West:

  • Debenham Group Practice
  • Ixworth Surgery
  • Barham and Claydon Surgery

Mia – Stowmarket:

  • Stowhealth
  • Combs Ford

Jess – Needham Market:

  • Needham Market County Practice

Hayley – South Rural:

  • Holbrook and Shotley Surgery
  • Constable Country Surgery

Sophie – South Rural:

  • Hadleigh & Boxford Group Practice
  • Bildeston Health Centre

How will Connect for Health benefit me?

Connect for Health allows you to take control of situations with support. It can help improve your mental health and wellbeing such as feeling healthier and fitter. Connect for Health gives you the chance to access new opportunities, meet new people and make new friends. Connect for Health can also guide you to learning new skills.

My GP practice isn’t in the areas delivered  by Suffolk Family Carers, who do I contact?

Ipswich: Contact your GP practice

Felixstowe area: call: Access Community Trust 01502 527200

North East Suffolk (including Saxmundham, Leiston, Aldeburgh, Framlingham and surrounding areas)call: Access Community Trust 01502 527200

Woodbridge, Kesgrave, Martlesham, Alderton and Wickham Market and surrounding areas: call: The Shaw Trust 07967 395985 or 07790 922228