A population health approach to primary care
A number of pioneering schemes across Scotland have recently shown the potential of providing holistic support services in healthcare settings to help people address wider life circumstances affecting their health.
In December 2015, two GP practices serving some of the most deprived communities in Scotland began a new experiment. Working with the doctors and practice managers, housing associations, local advice services and other organisations, the GP practices embedded welfare rights advisors in the surgery to provide advice on issues from benefits to pensions.
The programme made 275 referrals, delivered £850,000 worth of unclaimed benefit entitlements to 165 people and helped people to manage £156,000 worth of debt. Projects like the Parkhead pilot not only free up GP time to focus on clinical issues, but also help to identify and tackle some of the underlying issues which can affect people’s health. As one GP said: ““The project is taking a huge amount of pressure off me to support people with matters I don’t know much about.”
To find out more, please visit the Glasgow Centre for Population Health’s website here: https://www.gcph.co.uk/publications/728_the_deep_end_advice_worker_project_embedding_advice_in_general_practice