On the first weekend of October, Merton’s Social Prescribing Team took on South London’s 10K Rough Runner obstacle challenge to fundraise for the Merton Giving Fund and spread the word on social prescribing in Merton and beyond. In an earlier blog, we shared some ways in which you could support the team in their challenge, and have now returned to report on their success.
As a reminder, social prescribing identifies patients who have a non-medical problem and offers a non-medical solution. It is estimated that 20% of patients who attend primary care have a non-medical cause to their problem. In a recent My Merton interview, Dr Mohan Sekeram, the Clinical Lead for Social Prescribing at the Merton Clinical Group Commissioning Group, explained that non-medical problems such as isolation, bereavement or unemployment often develop into physical symptoms; a headache, rash or stress which finds them in a GP surgery. In a world where GPs have 10 minutes with a patient, they may only be able to treat the headache or rash, but not the root cause.
Social prescribing matches patients with link workers who can spend more time with the patients to establish the root cause, and then puts them in touch with services such as befriending, exercise, or volunteering opportunities which can effectively tackle that root cause.
In the below images, you can see how Team Merton Social Prescribing remain active on all fronts as they share photos from their 10K run and sport their Don’t Medicalise…Socialise and Don’t Medicalise…Exercise t-shirts which you can purchase here. The team described the event as “Great fun,” and show little signs of slowing down in their mission to take social prescribing borough-wide.
Many local organisations and charities in Merton help to deliver social prescribing, with team members coming from Age UK Merton, NHS Merton CCG, Commonside Trust, Merton Voluntary Service Council, Public Health Merton, Good Boost, Merton Safer Neighbourhoods (Met Police) and GLL ‘Better’ leisure services. If you want to help this cause and spread the word, visit https://dontmedicalise.com for more information.
As shown above, there are many ways to support and improve our local Merton communities, and organisations, charities, and initiatives like the Merton Giving Fund help us to do so. For more inspiration and ideas, why not check out our latest post on Merton Giving Week 2019 which is full of ideas on how you can give back to the community and contribute to the Merton Giving Fund.
Finally, click here and navigate to the last page to read Mohan’s My Merton interview in full, and do continue to support this team in supporting Merton. If you have any stories about how social prescribing in Merton has benefitted you, we would love to hear more and perhaps feature you on our blog.
Written by Genevieve Etienne-Farrell, Community Development Officer