New Social Prescribing Pod

Social Prescribing Pod opens at Clacton Hospital

A NEW pod has opened at Clacton Hospital offering patients a space to talk to specialist link workers who can help with loneliness, isolation, depression, weight loss, and more.

Social prescribers from Community Voluntary Services Tendring (CVST) are based at the pod, inside the Clacton Diagnostic Centre at Clacton Hospital.

The team are manning the hub as well as continuing to offer support to patients on the wards as part of the hospital discharge service.

Sharon Dixon, Head of Communities at CVST, said: “Our new pod opened at the beginning of October and gives us a dedicated space to promote and provide our social prescribing service to patients already visiting the hospital.

“We already have social prescribers linked to every GP practice in Tendring, which means residents can access our support through their doctor’s surgery.

“But the pod also gives us a presence in the hospital, close to the blood clinic, offering another way for us to reach those who may be in need.

“It’s a brilliant location for patients to find out more about social prescribing and how we can help them.”

Social prescribing was launched as a ‘more than just medicine’ approach to transforming wellbeing – it’s a way to help people find support with their social, emotional and practical wellbeing.

Social prescribers can take the time needed to listen and put residents in touch with the people, services and activities that might help them feel better.

Christopher Adams-Salmon, social prescriber at CVST, said: “Being at the pod gives us a very visual way to reach people as they use the services at the hospital.

“This means they can find out about who we are and what we do, and it means we can provide our services to people who otherwise might be in need but not receiving help.

“Social prescribing can transform lives, whether that is helping put things in place for them to be safe to return home from hospital, reducing loneliness, improving physical and mental wellbeing, or finding the services that can help them in other aspects of their life.”

The Social Prescribing Pod was a collaboration between CVST and the East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust.

Dr Shane Gordon, Director of Strategy, Research and Innovation at East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Clacton Community Diagnostic Centre (CDC) is a major improvement in services for Clacton and Tendring residents, providing a wide range of diagnostic tests including CT, MRI, ultrasound, blood tests and many more.

“This is part of our commitment to increasing the equity of health outcomes for our communities.

“People who use our services often have a wide range of needs, not just health related. So, I am delighted that our new Social Prescribing Pod has opened in the CDC, in partnership between our Trust and Community Voluntary Services Tendring. The pod provides a comfortable, discrete space for people to get advice and support for their physical and mental wellbeing, including self-help, links to local community groups and local government support services.”

For more information on social prescribing visit www.cvstendring.org.uk or call 01255 425692.

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