Ruils is a user-led charity supporting disabled children and adults and people with long term health and mental health conditions to live independently and be part of their community. In partnership with the Richmond GP Alliance, Ruils delivers Social Prescribing (SP) across Richmond.
Patients that are suitable are referred by their GP or other health care professional to a SP Link Worker, who then meets with them to find out more about what they are hoping to achieve or would like to change.
Callum Harvey, Social Prescribing and Community Development Manager, explained: “We are able to make a thorough assessment when somebody is referred to us and we have plenty of time to ask what they would like to achieve or improve. This might be medical, for example we work with lots of people with long term health conditions, but this might also be working on other elements of a person’s life that may eventually contribute to ill health. We set goals, signpost and support people on their own, individual journeys.”
We are able to make a thorough assessment when somebody is referred to us and we have plenty of time to ask what they would like to achieve or improve. This might be medical, but this might also be working on other elements of a person’s life that may eventually contribute to ill health.”Callum Harvey, Social Prescribing and Community Development Manager at Ruils
SP Link Workers support people to explore the different options available to them in their local community like social groups where they can meet other people and learn a new skill or get more physically active. This, in turn, can help individuals manage their mental health or stress, improve their general physical health and reduce loneliness. They also help with practical solutions including helping people get information and support around employment, benefits and housing or legal advice.
SP Link Workers also focus their time on trying to reduce health inequalities. They support projects that encourage people who have disengaged with health care to take steps to address their health needs and to take preventative measures to help them stay well, for longer.
Sarah Siegert, SP Link Worker for East Twickenham PCN, added: “We use a motivational and coaching technique with people to help them explore their own solutions. They are an active partner in the process, we just support them to take control of their own health and lives. One size does not fit all and we are lucky enough to have the time to support on an individual basis.”