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Social prescribing

A social prescribing service in Reading links people to activities in the community to help improve their health and wellbeing.

The service is funded by Berkshire West CCG and Reading Borough Council and operated and run by Reading Voluntary Action (RVA).

Social Prescribing, the benefits
  • Improved health and wellbeing
  • Support for health and lifestyle change
  • Improved self-esteem and confidence
  • Find local groups and meet new people
  • Practical support in the community
  • Tailored to a patients' wants and needs
  • One stop information service

Social Prescribing can help by sign-posting to activities or services that patients may not know about but could benefit from and informing them about what’s available.

The idea behind social prescribing is that it complements the care that people might be receiving from their GP practice. This approach gives patients of any age the space to talk about some of the non-medical underlying issues that affect their wellbeing and to take steps to tackle them.

On referral to the service, patients attend an hour-long individual appointment with a social prescriber at the patient’s GP practice. Patients are helped to identify the improvements they want to make, including;

  • feeling positive
  • lifestyle
  • looking after yourself
  • managing symptoms
  • money management
  • where you live
  • family and friends
  • work, volunteering and other activities

There are a number of ways to get referred to the social prescribing service:

  • requesting a referral from your GP
  • emailing,
  • calling RVA on 0118 9 372273 and ask for the social prescribing team

If you need medical help and are unsure what to do, call NHS 111 for help and advice. They are available 24 hours a day.