The target number of beneficiaries has been doubled to 160 thanks to additional funding from DAERA, who see this as a great way for rural residents to get an improved level of service from their local GP and encourages them to re-engage with their local community.
Nuala McElroy has been employed from January 2019 as the Social Prescriber for Down area working with the GP surgeries in the Down area.
Almost 80 people have benefitted from the programme already in Down. SPRING is also available in Ards and North Down and will be rolled out to Newry & Mourne in summer 2019 through other healthy living centres. A formal referral process is used to refer clients from the GP practice. The “Elemental” Social Prescribing Software tracks the progress of each client from the day they are referred by the GP Team, through the various activities they get involved with, to the day they are signed off and health improvements are measured and evaluated along the way.
Once a referral has been made by the Practice, the Social Prescriber (SP) makes contact with the client to arrange a home visit or at a venue of their choice. These visits can be up to 2 hours which gives the client the opportunity to discuss their needs and anxieties. The SP will refer them to an activity or group in their area and where there is a lack of support services, CDRCN will strive to create a new group/activity to ensure this client’s needs are met. It is a requirement of the SPRING project that each client attends