Evergreen Life and PCG launch personalised digital social prescribing solution

NEWS

Evergreen Life and PCG launch personalised digital social prescribing solution

Monday, July 9, 2018

Evergreen
Life and
(PCG) have joined forces to launch an
innovative new digital Social Prescribing tool that helps people access
community resources.

The
tool has been co-designed with three Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and
. It is
initially being deployed in three GP practices across Bradford and Wharfedale
before being made available in other areas. Its aim is to help people take
control of their health and wellbeing, by connecting them with groups and
activities in their community. The three CCGs included are

The
traditional approach to Social Prescribing has been a face-to-face referral
from a health professional. This puts
extra pressure on already busy GP practices and makes it harder for people to
get the appropriate referrals at the right time. 

Pairing up powerful
technology platforms from leaders in healthcare tech

PCG
are already working with over 30 local authorities across England – including
Bradford Council - to deliver Adult Social Care & Wellbeing platforms that provide
people with choice and enable them to self-care.

Evergreen
Life’s
helps people to take more control over their
health and wellbeing. Evergreen Life offers NHS-assured
such
as access to GP records, booking doctor’s appointments and ordering
prescriptions. Within the app, people can also monitor their own health
conditions, set medication reminders, and track their health and fitness. By
combining their GP medical record with their personal health record, and the
ability to securely share the record with chosen others, people are truly
taking control of their health with the Evergreen Life app. More than 500,000 people are currently
using Evergreen Life. 

Social prescribing
– a new approach

The
social prescribing tool, the first of its kind, takes patient facing services
and personal health record technology and combines this with community
directory software to produce personalised digital social prescriptions. This
links people with groups, organisations and activities in their communities
using coded data from their own GP records. For example, if a patient with
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD) books an appointment online or
orders a repeat prescription, they are matched with non-medical activities that
have been shown to benefit the condition such as local choir groups, swimming
sessions or walking groups. The patient
can further personalise the generated social prescription by removing or adding
groups with the ability to save, print and share the prescription.

Social prescribing
is key to the future of healthcare

There
is growing evidence to support health creation and social prescribing
recognising that much of today’s ill health is linked to social causes and the
wider determinants of health. 

A
2010 analysis of almost 309,000 people, showed a 50 per cent increased
likelihood of survival for people with stronger social relationships,
comparable with stopping smoking.
Work
by Timebanking UK and Spice has shown that people are less likely to be reliant
on health services if they are involved in community activity and evidence from
the National Social Prescribing Network suggests that social prescribing reduces
demand on primary and secondary care
.
The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) has also just called for
funding for all GP practices to introduce social prescribing.

The
tool is not intended to replace face-to-face social prescribing services but to
complement them. A digital approach can personalise
care and offer many more people greater choice and control over their health
and wellbeing. 

Collette
Connolly, head of commissioning for self-care and prevention at the Bradford
CCGs said:

“Technology
is changing the way we can control our health and wellbeing and there are more
and more opportunities for people to use technology to help them to self- care
and manage health conditions. This social prescribing system will automatically
provide people across Bradford with tailored suggestions about local activities
or groups whilst they book appointments and order repeat prescriptions online. It will also provide GPs with an easy way to
offer non-medical support that can help people to live happier, healthier lives.” 

Dr
Brian Fisher, GP and strategy director at Evergreen Life, commented: “We’re excited to work together
with PCG, Bradford Metropolitan District Council and the three CCGS in the area,
on what will be the next generation of social prescribing. Our unique approach combines online Patient-Facing Services with
Community Directories & Self-Serve tools to produce an automated, personalised
Social Prescription, using coded data from patients’ own GP records.”

David
Bowes, managing director of PCG, said: "Since 2008, PCG Technology Solutions
has been leading the way in web-based social care solutions that empower and
enable people to be independent, take charge of their lives and to have choice
and control over their care, support and wellbeing.  We have long recognised the synergies between
health and social care and we are delighted to be working with Bradford and
Evergreen Life to provide citizens with a Personalised Social Prescription.”

References

Social relationships and Mortality Risk: A
Meta-Analytic Review, Julianne Holt-Lunstadd, Timothy B Smith, J. Bradley
Layton

A review of the evidence assessing impact of social
prescribing on healthcare demand and cost implications, Polley M., Bertotti M.,
Kimberlee R., Pilkington K., Refsum, C.