Our Healthy Futures Clinic
Helping people find ways to feel healthier and happier
The Healthy Futures Service is provided by Gateway Family Services Community Interest Company. It delivers Social Prescribing to patients registered with our federation member practices.
We know that a significant number of patients visit their GP and/or A&E much more frequently than is clinically necessary. The reasons are varied and sometimes complex. They include:
- a lack of understanding of the healthcare system.
- insufficient social care support
- social isolation and loneliness
What are the aims of the service?
The Healthy Futures model is designed to achieve the following three key outcomes:
1) Reduce the inappropriate use of wider health and social health services and unnecessary expenditure by providing a range of non-clinical, high quality, cost effective interventions thus avoiding the need for more costly crisis management at a later stage.
2) Reduce the number of unnecessary GP consultations by providing patients with non-clinical alternatives, thus freeing up additional capacity within primary care
3) Improve patients’ health and wellbeing, and increase their levels of resilience by identifying their areas of risk and signposting or providing support using a range of non-clinical interventions. The aim is to resolve or reduce these risks and introduce protective factors designed to enable patients to manage their health and emotional wellbeing, and making more positive lifestyle choices.
Patients can be referred into the Healthy Futures service via a range of routes. They include:
- Local Authority (LA)
- emergency services
- VCSE organisations
- community/religious groups
Once patients have been referred, they have an initial assessment by a suitably qualified Healthy Futures Link Worker at a venue of their choosing. These will include:
- MyHealthcare Hubs
- Local Authority Hubs
- Local leisure and community centres
- The patient’s home
The patient’s risk factors are assessed, and a Social Prescription Plan drawn up.
Depending on the risks identified, the link worker will either:
- Manage the patient internally within Gateway Family Services; or
- Signpost them to an alternative agency or online service more suited to their needs
In both cases, the link worker will continue to provide assistance in accessing the help and support needed. They will also provide information on:
- lifestyle and health promotion
- Local Authority and other statutory services
- Welfare Advice
- VCSE support
The initial assessment will be carried out by a link worker. But they will be supported by volunteers from the GFS Befriending Service.
Healthy Futures staff are able to access the patient’s own GP during surgery hours. They are supported by the GPs, Pharmacists and Practice Nurses/Healthcare Assistants based in the face to face Extended Access Hubs, Virtual Centre and Walk in Centre outside normal surgery hours.
Patients will also have access to online digital support tools through the MyHealthcare Digital App.