The Patient Empowerment Project is a social prescribing service commissioned by the West Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group and delivered in partnership between BARCA Leeds, Better Leeds Communities, Mind and Touchstone. The project supports people to take control of their health and wellbeing. Participants are referred by their doctor and are supported to access groups, services and resources in their local community to help them achieve a better life. Following a one year pilot scheme (September 2014 to August 2015), the project has continued to successfully support a number of clients.
Between October 2015 and June 2016, the project has received referrals for nearly 500 people, of whom 388 completed assessments with project staff. Assessment is the process by which PEP staff get to understand the clients’ needs and reach an agreement with them about what kind of support would be most appropriate. Some of the feedback that we’ve received is listed below.

  • “I have contact with a very good worker who finds lots of solutions to the problems I present to her.”
  • “I’m glad I got in touch with PEP. I think so many people would benefit from your service.”
  • “PEP has been great. You helped me get a worker from Great Places and they contacted me really quickly and you’ve provided me with really useful information on my benefits. I would definitely come back to you in the future if I needed to.”
  • “No one has ever been able to help me and I have had depression for over ten years. I didn’t want to take medication; I wanted to change things myself but I wasn’t able to without support. I really appreciate you visiting me at home and having so much patience and empathy.”
  • “If it wasn’t for you I would not be where I am today. I can’t thank you enough for all the support and advice you have given to me and my family.”
  • “I don’t think you could do any more. You’re there for me personally, you’ve been friendly, non-judgmental. I can be myself and I don’t have to pretend. You’re doing a marvellous job.”
  • “I’m really enjoying myself at the conservation centre. I’ve even been given some responsibility of leading a planting session with some of the disabled members.”
  • “I am always singing your praises and telling people they should refer to PEP as you have helped me so much. I didn’t know anyone when I moved to Leeds and you have told me about so many different opportunities or things that I can try.”
  • “You’ve done really well at finding things for me. We need more people like you (link workers).”
  • “You have really gone above and beyond for your client and she really does appreciate it. We look forward to working with you again in the future with other clients.”
  • “Without you I don’t think I would have got back on track as fast as I have.”
  • “I have started going to the free swim and gym sessions at my local leisure centre, that you told me about and I really enjoy them. It is really helping me and my mental health.”
  • “You have got a special way of helping people. When you first met me I was in a right mess and I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your help. It is up to me now to get my housing sorted.”
  • “Thank you so much for coming to my assessment with me. I didn’t know what to expect and was very nervous and anxious about going. Now I will wait for the outcome and can move forward with things.”
  • “I really appreciate someone trying to engage me with services even when I don’t feel like it as it does motivate me in the end.”
  • “I have been more motivated the past week than I have been the past three to four years thanks to the support I have received from PEP.”