Patients registered at Bridport Medical Centre can now get more help with non-clinical problems thanks to the Bridport Health Champions.

Bridport Health Champions are volunteers who follow a Social Prescribing approach – a means of improving a patient’s health and wellbeing by linking them with services and groups in their local community that may be of benefit to them.

Health Champion Tessa “When people think of healthcare they immediately think ‘clinical’ however there a lots of other factors which can affect a person’s health such as financial issues, housing problems or their environment and personal issues for example the breakdown of a relationship.

As Health Champions, we can help with these problems by directing patients to local services who can assist them.”

Health Champion Anne “We have just started, so at the moment we are here to offer help to patients who come to Bridport Medical Centre whether that is accessing the building, explaining how things work for example the new e-Consult system, or just being there to chat if they have had some unexpected news or don’t understand what they have been told during an appointment.

However, we very much see this as just the start of what we can do and in time we will be able to direct people to the support they need for more non-clinical problems which will also free up a significant amount of time for our GPs.

There are lots of reasons why we got involved in this but primarily it is to give something back to both the practice and the community and to be there to help people who need it.”

Practice Manager Eilish Davoren welcomes the appointments. She said “The GPs here at Bridport Medical Centre see people every day presenting with a wide range of issues as people can probably imagine. Having the Health Champions here will help bring people and local support groups and services together, offering real benefits to patients here at the practice whilst at the same time freeing up appointment slots which will allow the GPs more time to see people who have a clinical need.”

Information is available in the Champions Chat corner at Bridport Medical Centre with volunteers scheduled to be on hand on Mondays and Fridays offering an opportunity to talk about the service and how to get involved.