‘Staggering’ results from social prescribing

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A column by Mid Argyll Health and Care Forum

Mid Argyll Health and Care Forum is sorry to hear Cleland Sneddon is to leave Argyll and Bute Council.

In his chief executive’s blog in July he talked of the Oban Healthy Options (LOHO) service: ‘…social prescribing – a non medical approach to improving health and well-being. And the results are staggering’.

He went on to share a before and after story of the impact of this service on the life of one family.

The mother ‘had fallen ill relatively young in her 60s and for two years had been largely housebound and effectively chairbound. Even a move to a specially adapted house, though making caring easier, didn’t substantially improve her quality of life’.

Cleland described how she ‘can now toilet herself, shower and feed herself, has a level of independence that she thought she had lost forever – and the impact on her family has been equally dramatic. Whilst they remain close and see each other every day, the daughter no longer has to be at mum’s by 6am every day to get her up, hurry back home to get her children up for school then dash back to mum’s and so on…every day of every year’.

It is a heartwarming and inspiring story.

We were particularly impressed with the way the chief executive had insight to acknowledge what we believe to be the core ingredient for the success of this initiative – a specially designed bespoke exercise, balance and strength programme.

The amazing variety of community events, the enthusiasm of volunteers and the knowledge gained from experience could all be replicated here.

Without the commitment to professional input in identifying and overcoming barriers to onward progress, it can feel like battering our heads against a brick wall, for providers and public.

We hope his understanding of these issues will leave a positive legacy from which we will yet benefit.

To contact Mid Argyll Health and Care Forum, email the forum chairperson Barabel McKay at barabelmck@gmail.com