Volunteers needed for pilot surgery signposters scheme

IMPACT Dr David Chilvers hopes surgery signposters will have a profound effect on patients' lives
IMPACT Dr David Chilvers hopes surgery signposters will have a profound effect on patients' lives
QA Hospital. Picture: Will Caddy

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The search is on to find volunteers who can point patients towards non-medical networks to improve their wellbeing.

The NHS is teaming up with Gosport Voluntary Action (GVA) to search for Surgery Signposters – volunteers who will play a crucial role in ensuring that people in the town don’t miss out on all of the help and support available locally.

The new role is based at Waterside Medical Centre in Mumby Road.

Volunteers would work with practice staff to guide patients towards the many local charities and support groups that could help them to be healthier, encourage patients to take part in community groups, which has been proven to lead to a happier and healthier life, or to get in touch 
with other people if they are lonely or isolated.

Whilst based in Waterside, the service will be available for all Gosport patients to be referred to by their GP or health professional.

Volunteers would receive referrals from GPs, and then discuss with individuals what support might most benefit them, and help them make contact with individuals or groups which could help.

Surgery Signposters is a two-year pilot scheme being run by NHS Fareham and Gosport Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), NHS South Eastern Hampshire CCG, Gosport Voluntary Action, Community First HEH and Fareham Community Action.

Dr David Chilvers, who chairs F&G CCG, said: ‘If a patient is feeling lonely, or lacking confidence, or wanting help to lead a healthier life, then the volunteers could step in and steer people towards the invaluable help already provided by the voluntary sector.

‘Surgery Signposters could have a really profound impact on someone’s quality of life.’

There will be training sessions on the mornings of July 13, 16, 20 and 23 and ongoing support in the role.

If you are interested, and want an informal chat about the role, please contact Brenda Woon on (023) 9228 2085 or email Brenda.woon@nhs.net.