A project sign-posting Gosport people to healthier and happier lives has reached a special milestone – helping its 250th patient.
The Surgery Signposters scheme, which began at Waterside Medical Centre in Gosport in October 2015, had seen 255 people by the end of April, the last month for which figures are available.
Surgery Signposters volunteers (SSPs) has for some months also operated out of two other GP practices - Gosport Medical Centre in Bury Road and the Brune Medical Centre.
GPs refer patients to a signposter if they feel the individual could benefit from the advice or support on a wide-range of non-clinical issues which could affect their health or wellbeing.
This could also include groups that can help combat loneliness; provide dietary, nutrition and exercise advice, help them better cope with long-term chronic conditions such as dementia and arthritis, parenting problems and services with children, debt or housing issues and dealing with depression and anxiety.
The service is run by Gosport Voluntary Action (GVA) on behalf of NHS Fareham and Gosport Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
Working alongside the surgery staff and practice team, the SSPs have knowledge or awareness of around 400 local charities and groups.
And they have40 minutes to talk with you and listen in their consultation as opposed to a much shorter time than a GP is able to offer – although of course the SSPs are not trained to deal with any medical issues.
Anyone can refer people to the Surgery Signposters project, and anyone can refer themselves too. You do not have to be registered with any participating practice.
Dr David Chilvers, a Waterside GP who chairs the CCG, said: “It’s great to think that more than 250 people have been helped by the trained volunteers since the scheme started, and hopefully have had their lives improved as a result of the support, both direct and indirect, that they have received.
“We are very keen to continue to promote their work, as we know they have the capacity to be helping even more people.”
For an appointment with a surgery SignPoster, just ask at one of the surgeries below.
— Waterside Medical Centre Gosport – 023 9258 3344
— Gosport Medical Centre – 023 9258 3302
— Brune Medical Centre Gosport – 023 9279 4169.