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Community navigation in Brighton and Hove: evaluation of a social prescribing pilot

Author(s)

FARENDEN Clair, et al

Publisher(s):

Brighton and Hove Impetus

Publication year:

2015

An evaluation of the community navigation service, a one-year social prescribing pilot. The model for the pilot was based on Age UK national templates, drawing from their vast knowledge and experience of delivering other similar services across the UK. Community navigators work in GP surgeries to assess patients non-medical support needs and help them access groups, services and activities that can broadly improve their health and wellbeing. The evaluation found that navigation is effective for patients, GP surgeries and volunteers. Patients feel listened to and understood by navigators, have increased access to the right services at the right time and are able to take the next steps towards improving their health and wellbeing. GPs continue to increase referrals, are satisfied with the quality of the service and are seeing positive benefits for their patients. Navigators value their volunteering role and suggest the training and support provided by the staff team enables them to carry it out effectively. 393 patients were referred across 16 surgeries during the first 12 months of the pilot and 741 referrals were made to groups, services and activities patients would not have otherwise accessed. The service attracted a highly experienced and skilled volunteer team to carry out the community navigator role. Most navigators have a previous or current career in healthcare, social services, teaching or counselling. The evaluation examines in detail: the impact on primary and secondary care; community navigation activities, outputs and outcomes; the social value; cost-benefit analysis; lessons, challenges and successes; and risk and opportunities. A set of key recommendations derived from the learning from the pilot are included. (Edited publisher abstract)


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