Merton GP features in new national NHS campaign film
Clinical Lead for Social Prescribing for Merton and Wandsworth CCGs Dr Mohan Sekeram is being featured in a new national NHS campaign film as part of integrated care week released today.
The film highlights the work of the local social prescribing service which is being expanded across Merton following the success of a pilot project which improved the health and wellbeing of 77% of patients. It tells the story of a local patient Laura who found the programme was a "godsend" to her.
Dr Mohan Sekeram, who is a GP at Wide Way Medical Centre said: " At least one in five GP visits is due to social rather than medical problems. We are delighted we can support these patients by offering this service, which is embedded in primary care , to help tackle the root cause of their needs. "
He added: "Above all our patients have told us social prescribing has improved their wellbeing, bringing them back to recovery and linking them to help on their doorsteps that they did not know about."
Merton CCG and Merton Council set out to test a model of social prescribing that would connect medical care with local voluntary and community resources, working with the Merton Voluntary Service Council. The pilot's aims were to improve patient health and wellbeing and reduce pressures on local GP and A&E services.
The independent evaluation of the pilot found in the first year 77 per cent of patients said it had improved their wellbeing; 33 per cent fewer GP appointments were needed as a result of the scheme; and hospital visits were reduced by 50 per cent.