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Social prescribing: Has the time come for this idea?

From the RACGP


Should GPs be prescribing social groups to their more isolated patients?


It was August 2016 when Dr Charlotte Hespe visited the Bromley by Bow Centre, a pioneering charity combining GPs with social services and social linkages, tackling entrenched disadvantage in a low socioeconomic area of London. Back in the 1980s, a local pastor saw there was need everywhere in the area. So he opened his church and invited people, organisations and doctors to set up shop. ‘It’s an amazing set-up where the whole practice is very much around the whole needs of the patient,’ Dr Hespe, RACGP Vice-President and Chair of RACGP NSW&ACT, told newsGP. ‘A doctor or reception staff member can figure out when a patient needs assistance with finding a job or food vouchers or a course [as well as health]. It’s a really great concept.’


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