A different prescription for North East Lincolnshire

Social Prescribing supports patients with certain long term condition by offering
non-medical activities and interventions that help to improve their health and wellbeing.  The CCG first started talking to Accord members and stakeholders about Social Prescribing in 2016.  Community members and representatives from statutory and voluntary sector organisations formed a Steering Group to look at how this could  work for us locally. Community Forum members Christine Foreman (top) and Diane Edmonds (bottom) were involved in developing the specification for the new service and the procurement process.

The new service Thrive NEL, was launched in April 2018 and was funded in a new and innovative way through a Social Impact Bond from Bridges Fund Management and up to £1.1m from the Big Lottery Fund. 

Patients with certain long term conditions (Asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary                                      Disorder – COPD, Hypertension, Diabetes and Atrial Fibrillation) can be referred by their GP to the service. The service will then spend some time with the patient understanding what their current issues are and what help, support and activities could make a difference.

Patients are then referred to other agencies who will work with them for up to two years to help them improve their lifestyle and wellbeing and quality of life.

"Christine and I were part of the Social Prescribing  procurement panel.  My role
was carried out on an equal footing with the rest of the panel and I was involved in every step of the very thorough process". said, Diane Edmonds, Community Lead for Dementia and for Communications and Engagement.

"Individually we assessed the bid applications, then spent a day together ratifying scores and deciding interview  questions. The interview stage was over two days and we watched and assessed presentations, asked questions and held thorough discussions around final decisions. I was extremely impressed by the rigour of the whole process and felt assured that it was fair and equal."

“When the CCG first started to talk to the Community forum early on about social prescribing I could see the difference it could  make for people in North East Lincolnshire.  We heard from local GPS who explained how so many of their patients need additional support beyond the clinical intervention to help them manage their condition better.  The CCG discussed the plans for social prescribing at engagement events and it was clear there was a lot of support for the initiative." 

"I was involved in the Steering group over a number of months and was a member of the procurement panel.  It seemed to take a long time to get the project off the ground, which was frustrating sometimes, but it is very rewarding to see it up and running now”.

Click here for more information Thrive NEL