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New service introduced at Kirkley Mill in Lowestoft

PUBLISHED: 15:33 28 June 2017

Waveney District councillor Mary Rudd (right) speaking with Emily Coles, CAB (left) at the event. Picture: ECCH

Waveney District councillor Mary Rudd (right) speaking with Emily Coles, CAB (left) at the event. Picture: ECCH

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A health centre is introducing a new service to help improve patients' wellbeing, by addressing social concerns as well as dealing with their medical needs.

Members of the Pakefield Patchers community group, one of the organisations which people could be signposted to. Picture: ECCHMembers of the Pakefield Patchers community group, one of the organisations which people could be signposted to. Picture: ECCH

East Coast Community Healthcare (ECCH) has launched a ‘social prescribing’ service at Kirkley Mill Health Centre in Clifton Road.

The service, called Solutions, aims to signpost patients who need non-medical support – such as carer respite, dementia support, housing help, debt management and benefits advice – to the appropriate organisation.

ECCH is working in partnership with Waveney District Council, Lowestoft Rising, Suffolk Police, the Citizens Advice Bureau and the Great Yarmouth and Waveney CCG for the new Solutions service, which was launched during an event last Thursday, June 22 at Kirkley Mill. The event was attended by patients, health centre staff, local community groups and representatives from the partner organisations.

ECCH director for quality and primary care, Dr Noreen Cushen-Brewster, said: “It’s about more than medicine. Often if you’re just treating medical conditions you’re not getting to the root of the problem.

“A person may be very lonely or suffering financial problems. This is a way of linking our patients with sources of support within the community that can operate alongside existing treatments to improve health and well-being.”

Mary Rudd, Waveney District Council’s cabinet member for Community Health, said: “This new service will help those people who are struggling with issues which are not medical but can still significantly impact on their daily lives.

“The service will also help those who are feeling socially isolated and vulnerable by introducing them to a range of community groups who may be able to help.”

Patients can access the Solutions service by speaking to a health professional at their next appointment or by asking at reception for a self-referral.

Emily Coles, advisor at North East Suffolk CAB, said: “Once referred to Solutions, patients will receive an initial 45 minute assessment to discuss their needs.

“We will then determine what support is required and put a suitable care package into place moving forwards.”

For further information about Solutions, please visit www.kirkleymillsurgery.co.uk

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