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Health and wellbeing support for patients.

A PRACTICAL new service that "goes the extra mile" is helping improve the lives of Stockton-on-Tees residents. The Stockton Service Navigation (SSN) project ensures patients who have been referred by GPs and other health professionals get connected to the right non-medical support to tackle their health, well-being, social and lifestyle needs.

It is a highly tailored service, which looks at individuals' situations and offers people easy access to a wide range of appropriate services and support.

The service has previously helped an elderly widow who was housebound, with limited mobility and visual impairments.

She was referred to the SSN by her practice nurse, who was worried about the effects of isolation, loneliness and grieving for her husband.

The SSN visited the lady to talk things through and put her in touch with a bereavement service, and with BlindVoice UK, which has allowed her to enjoy reading and listening to tapes - and linked her up with The Avalon Group, who have given her extra support in her home and outside, allowing her to go shopping. The lady said: "Everything was done for me, and it was done perfectly.

The Navigation Service was marvellous and very easy to use. It increased my confidence to access other services I wouldn't normally have used".

GPs and other health professionals across the borough of Stockton have referred some 33 patients to the SSN since its August launch.

Residents are linked - and supported with advocacy, appointment making and follow-ups - to the services they need.

The many reasons for referral include debt and benefits advice; relationship issues; leading healthier lifestyles (such as weight management and smoking cessation), fuel poverty, self-help with managing long-term conditions and isolation.

The service is delivered by SCRGA (Stockton Residents & Community Groups Association) and is funded by NHS Stockton-on-Tees.

The SSN "goes the extra mile" to make it a personalised service - much more than just "signposting". Another service user said: "The SSN was very helpful. The process helped me find the support needed to improve my health, and it has been very beneficial to me with carers now coming in twice a day - and I am in less pain. I was very satisfied - and all of the service was free of charge."

. For further information, Stockton borough residents can speak to their GP, health professional or contact Marie Harris, 01642 647770 mobile 07891885830 Email
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jan 26, 2011
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