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Connect Well service off to a great start

The Connect Well Leeds North service was launched in April 2016; the aim of the service is to connect people to services and activities in their community in order to benefit overall health and wellbeing.

8 months after the service was launched a questionnaire was sent out to all Connect Well GP practices to evaluate the service in terms of effectiveness and awareness. The findings were very positive: 42 people responded to the questionnaire which included a good mix of practice managers, GPs and admin staff and of those who responded 98% knew about Connect Well; 77% had referred to the service and 80% described themselves as being ‘very satisfied’ with the service so far.

The research was primarily qualitative and on the whole GP’s felt that the service had met one of its primary objectives which was to reduce the time pressure on GP’s and free up appointments.  The service meets the needs of many clients whose issues are more social than clinical and allows GP’s a clear and easy referral route. Having a Wellbeing Coordinator as an extra resource means that support can be offered quickly to those with social issues and/or those who are vulnerable or lonely.

Admin staff fed back that they thought it was a useful “bolt on” social service which works well with the nursing and GP team. Many had seen the GP’s time being freed up as a result. They also felt the Wellbeing Coordinator was an integrated part of their service and said their patients were generally very positive about the service.

“A very good idea, frees up GP’s time – less stressful for them. A helpful support network for both patients and staff – can come to the Wellbeing Coordinator for help and advice if needed.”

As the service continues to grow and patients and the GP practices get used to the service, referrals will continue to rise. This feedback shows the service is off to a fantastic start and it’s benefiting both service users and GP practices.

“I hope this will be a long term project. It is early days and I think we have yet to see the full potential of having a practice based Wellbeing Coordinator.”

“This is an extra offer that we can provide for our patients who have very diverse needs that cannot be solved/addressed with a medical prescription alone.”

“All practises should have a Wellbeing Coordinator to help with social prescribing.”

To see the full questionnaire report click here

To read more about the Connect Well service visit the service information page