You may have recently seen various posters in GP surgeries and pieces in the paper about Surgery Signposters, a new initiative currently being introduced locally.
Our Breathe Easy group was fortunate to have one of them talk to us at the last meeting.
The Signposters are an attempt by the local CCG, with Gosport Voluntary Action backing, to help everyone access more help/support if they need it.
Doctors recognised that although they were treating the actual medical needs of patients, patients might also need further support from voluntary groups/other agencies which they were unable to fully search through for patients. So Signposters help bridge this gap.
You can be referred to them by GPs to get further help from voluntary agencies, or you can ring them yourself. This has to be a major step forward for everyone in the area as it attempts to make seeing/talking with someone who can possibly help quickly and locally much better.
All Signposters have been trained and act confidentially.
Although the Signposters are based at Waterside surgery in Gosport, we now know that it is hoped to expand them to cover the whole local area within the CCG.
But, as we discovered during the course of our last meeting where we had a very worried member who lived in Fareham, the Signposter gave a lot more help than we were able to access and the message is that it is definitely meant for the whole area.
Surgery signposters can be contacted at Waterside Medical Centre, Gosport every weekday afternoon on (023) 9258 3344 where they will arrange a confidential meeting/phone call for you.
I started the Breathe Easy group over a year and a half ago after having a lot of help, support and encouragement from several people.
It was one of our physios, Kathy in particular who initially put the idea to me.
She has worked with pulmonary rehab groups for over two years across the Petersfield, Portsmouth, Fareham and Gosport areas but leaves this month for her final year at university.
This has to be full-time and so, on behalf of all the very grateful patients she has helped, we wish her success and will miss her greatly.
The next Gosport and Fareham Breathe Easy Group meeting is on Thursday, April 7, 2pm-4pm at Gosport Leisure Centre.
All are welcome, there is no charge. If you want more information contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.