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New health and care service for adults

A new health and care service to help people struggling with issues such as loneliness, unemployment and housing is now available for Waltham Forest residents.

The social prescribing service aims to support people who go to their GP, local pharmacist, other healthcare or adult social care professional and are found to need help for non-medical problems that affect their health and wellbeing – for example social isolation, unemployment or problems with their living conditions.

With agreement, the GP, or the health or social care professional will refer people to the social prescribing team, who will call them to discuss their needs, experiences and what they might like help with.

A package of referrals, mostly to local charity groups – perhaps a befriending scheme, benefits advice or employability training – will then be put together and the resident supported to access the help available.

The new service, which will run as a pilot for 18 months initially, is a joint initiative set up by Waltham Forest Council and Waltham Forest Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) – and is part of the Waltham Forest Better Care Together Programme.

The social prescribing service is being run by the Council’s adult social care team, supported by the public health team, and is jointly funded by the Council and NHS Waltham Forest CCG.

Cllr Ahsan Khan, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “Waltham Forest’s new social prescribing service is a really innovative and exciting new approach to helping meet residents’ needs.

“By working in partnership across the Council, with NHS Waltham Forest CCG, other local health professionals, and with our local voluntary and community organisations, we believe this service will help ensure more residents get access to the kind of support services they need to be able to enjoy a good quality life.”

Dr Anwar Khan, Chair of NHS Waltham Forest CCG, welcomed the new service on behalf of GPs in Waltham Forest.

Dr Khan said: “This gives GPs one referral point, where a resident can get help with non-medical issues and get the support that they need.”

Cllr Angie Bean, Cabinet Member for Adult Services, said: “Our social prescribing service promises to play a really important role in helping the Council and its healthcare partners reach more vulnerable, older people in need of support.”

Find out about support services available to you by visiting

Notes to editors

Better Care Together

Better Care Together is a Waltham Forest-wide programme to join up all of the different health and social care services in our borough. This type of work is also commonly known as ‘integrated care’.

By getting health and social care organisations working together as one team we can shape services around the needs of the people who use them, rather than asking patients to go and speak with lots of different organisations to try and get the care and support they need.

More information can be found on the Better Care Together webpage on NHS Waltham Forest Clinical Commissioning Group’s website.

NHS Waltham Forest Clinical Commissioning Group (WFCCG) 

NHS Waltham Forest Clinical Commissioning Group’s vision is to: “To put patients at the centre of everything we do by using their experience to shape care pathways, improve service delivery and ensure value for money.”

The CCG’s overall objective is to: “Improve the health outcomes of our local population, people living in Waltham Forest, through the effective commissioning of high quality services.” 

It’s the CCG’s job to identify how health services in Waltham Forest can best meet the needs of local people, both now and in the future.

The CCG then uses the resources it is given by central government to commission these services and make sure they are safe, effective and help to reduce health inequalities.

Alongside Better Care Together (Integrated Care), the CCG’s key priorities include:

  • Mental health

  • Children and young people

  • Maternity 

  • Urgent and emergency care

  • Hospital services 

  • Primary care 

  • Self care

  • Cancer

  • End of life care.

More information is available on the NHS Waltham Forest Clinical Commissioning Group website. News releases are published under the news section.

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