The Healthwatch Reading team invited the first social prescribers employed by a primary care network (PCN) in Reading, to our office in January to hear about their new role.
Social prescribers take a holistic approach towards people who are referred to them by GPs. They offer more time to discuss issues, than people get in a doctor's appointment, and can signpost people to local charities and groups, arrange practical help and boost people’s confidence.
Diane and Charlie job-share the full time role for University PCN, covering University Health Centre and Whitley Villa Surgery.
Reading’s six PCNs have been given extra government funding to hire new staff to support GPs’ workload, and University PCN is the first in our area to take on social prescribers.
We hope more PCNs will follow and take on social prescribers to help more people access a range of support.