Confidential health ‘signposting’ service starts today

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A FREE scheme to help Gosport people improve their health and wellbeing launches today.

Surgery Signposters is a two-year pilot project to direct patients registered at all the town’s practices to voluntary and community services available in Gosport – services that many GPs might not know are available.

So far, 11 volunteer ‘surgery signposters’ have been recruited in a scheme being run in partnership by the Fareham and Gosport Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Gosport Voluntary Action (GVA).

The signposters will be based in Waterside Medical Centre, where CCG chairman and practice partner Dr David Chilvers works.

He said: ‘GPs know there are many fantastic voluntary and community services doing some great work out there.

‘But it’s hard for us to keep fully up to speed with who is doing what and where in all the non-medical networks.

‘Sometimes, we see patients who are a bit down and lonely and come to us as their GP for a chat with someone they know they can trust.

‘This is one way in which the surgery signposters can step in. After speaking to the patient, they may be able to open up a whole new world for them in pointing them towards groups, services or even individuals who share common interests or could assist them.

‘This will not only potentially relieve pressure on GPs and our primary care services right across Gosport, but, much more importantly, could considerably improve a patient’s wellbeing.’

Volunteers have received training, and will take referrals from GPs and other healthcare professionals to help people find things like social clubs and fitness advice.

The service will be available from 3pm to 5pm on Mondays and from 9am to midday and 3pm to 5.30pm Tuesday to Fridays.

To make an appointment call Waterside after midday on Monday on (023) 9258 3344.