People who are lonely in Cornwall will soon find it easier to access activities in their community following a new partnership between Cornwall Council and Elemental, a digital social prescribing programme.
This new software will upgrade the existing social prescribing service being led by Cornwall Council’s public health team and its partners Volunteer Cornwall, along with Active Plus, Age UK Cornwall, Chaos Café, CN4C, Eden Project and Pentreath Ltd.
There are currently 30 GP practices across Cornwall working with 12 link workers. The link workers meet with individuals to find out what sorts of support is available to them that meet their needs, such as volunteering, group learning, gardening, social activities, benefit advice and healthy lifestyle support.
Cornwall Council Public Health consultant Rachel Wigglesworth said:
"We’re really proud to be introducing this digital software, especially as this week is Loneliness Awareness week. This will make everything more streamlined as, rather than each link worker working off different spreadsheets, all of the information will be stored in one place.
It also supports GPs to refer people in to the service, as well as making it easier to understand whether people are getting value out of the service with improved monitoring abilities."
Julie Pollard, Social Prescribing Co-ordinator, Volunteer Cornwall said:
"We are already seeing the benefits of using the new system. We can monitor exactly what progress someone is making, as well as their GP also being able to see the way in which they are being helped. It really helps for people to be able to see how far they have come."
Elemental CEO, Jennifer Neff said:
"We’re so excited about this new partnership with Cornwall Council and Volunteer Cornwall. Julie and her team are so passionate about reducing health inequalities in communities throughout Cornwall and we know that they are going to be making a huge impact through their new digitally enhanced services."
Developing and supporting schemes like social prescribing supports the council to deliver better health outcomes for everyone which is part of its “Healthy Cornwall priority”, working with partners to shape Cornwall’s future health and care services.