Touchstone works in partnership with Leeds Mind, Hamara, Barca-Leeds, Better Leeds Communities and Leeds Irish Health and Homes to deliver Social Prescribing Services in East, South and West Leeds. The Patient Empowerment Project (PEP) is commissioned by the Leeds West Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and the Connect for Health service by the Leeds South and East CCG.
Social Prescribing services offer the following benefits:

  • Improve the wider health and wellbeing of individual patients enabling them to self-manage own conditions.
  • Work in partnership with GP practices to create a referral pathway.
  • Increase uptake of prevention services, support and self-care management.
  • Identify individual challenges and plan appropriate support.
  • Promote social inclusion in local communities.
  • Approach individuals’ needs in an holistic manner leading to improved service user experience.
  • Provide support in reducing isolation by connecting individuals to local groups and activities.

Since the start of the PEP and Connect for Health services there has been an increase in partnership working with GP practices, increasing the number of referrals received geographically from across Leeds.
There has also been an increase in partnership working with all partner
agencies, local communities and groups. Increase in uptake of local community-based services, groups and activities.
Specialist help provided to enable the person to start thinking about themselves and their needs and aspirations again, rather than just their problems which include areas such as mental health, housing, debt relief, welfare rights advice, emergency welfare and food provision.
Service users have reported their wellbeing has improved as has their perception of their self-efficacy to manage own health. 80% of patients
would seek community based solutions rather than the health system in future.
After support from the PEP service 75% of General Practice staff respondents agree the PEP service is making a positive difference to their patients.
There has also been an increase in individual confidence and self-esteem
enabling them to access Volunteering, Education, Training and Employment opportunities.
“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.”
“I have been more motivated the past week than I have been in the past three to four years thanks to the support I have received.”
Touchstone Annual Review 2015-2016