Nottingham and Nottinghamshire ICB
Social Prescribing at Nottingham CityCare.
“Alice” is a 50-year-old woman who lives along since the recent death of her mum. Alice had been her mum’s main carer. Alice has a background of abuse, and she has multiple health conditions, including asthma, poorly controlled diabetes, hypertension, fibromyalgia, poor mobility, and mental health issues. She visited her GP each week for support, and her GP referred her via social prescription to Nottingham CityCare for help with her low mood, social isolation, and mental health.
When the social prescribing care coordinator (a link worker role) first sat down for a conversation with Alice, she opened up about how difficult her mum’s passing was and her anxieties and grief. She was very articulate in expressing how alone and isolated she felt, and she was contemplating ending her life. The coordinator asked Alice what she would like to get out of the referral, and Alice’s main hope was to break her circle of isolation and lift her very low mood; she knew it was time to make some changes.
Alice and the coordinator made an action plan together, including connecting her to support organisations including Wellness in Mind, CRUSE bereavement counselling, and Good Companions for Social Isolation along with rearranging Alice’s visits from social services to better meet Alice’s needs. With Alice’s permission, the coordinator kept Alice’s GP informed about her mental health as well.
Alice started getting involved with these groups, but she still felt low, and she felt guilty when she didn’t want to go out. She advised that further support with sorting out letters and her garden would help her further. The coordinator connected Alice with Age UK’s advocacy service for help with her letters and paperwork, and she arranged a one-off visit from a handyman to help tidy Alice’s garden.
Impact for Alice
Alice is now actively involved in local social events and had a new set of friends who were giving her great support. She engages with other support groups around her mental health and low mood, and she has reduced her GP visits from weekly to once a fortnight. While she still has good and bad days, she is coping much better.
The coordinator noticed an immediate change in Alice – she was more positive. “I feel so proud of Alice,” she fed back, “and it has been a joy and very rewarding to see her change in such a short space of time.”