An alternative to medicine is set to be precribed by village GPs

WERRINGTON is one of eight areas in North Staffordshire chosen to take part in a project to provide activities and support for the sick as alternatives to medicine.

Health commissioners are teaming up with Stoke-on-Trent City Council and a charity to launch a ‘social prescribing’ scheme.

GPs will be able to refer patients to services in their community rather than prescribing medicines as the solution.

Health services will be able to make referrals to link workers to put patients in contact with organisations that can meet their personal needs.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s health and wellbeing board have approved the creation of the social prescribing scheme.

A report states: “Social prescribing will help individuals to identify the most appropriate and sustainable support required to address the underlying causes affecting their wellbeing and to enable them to manage their own health and wellbeing.

“By connecting people with the appropriate support for their social, emotional, financial or practical needs, social prescribing programmes can impact on the social and economic detriments of health.”

The area’s CCGs (Clinical Commissioning Groups) have been requested to set aside £389,708 for 12 months towards the scheme.

This will see eight suitably qualified staff members from Stoke-on-Trent City Council seconded to VAST (Voluntary Action Stoke-on-Trent) as link workers.

The three other areas chosen with Werrington for the first phase of the project are Meir, Middleport and Chesterton. Longton, Burslem, Cobridge and Silverdale will join in the second phase.