The Patient Empowerment Project (PEP) has been shortlisted in the Primary Care Innovation category at the 2016 Health Service Journal (HSJ) Awards. The PEP is a social prescribing service commissioned by NHS Leeds West Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)  and delivered by a partnership including BARCA-Leeds, Touchstone, Better Leeds Communities and Leeds Mind, which helps GPs access community based services for their patients.
Social prescribing is the name given to services that primary care health professionals can refer to which are not seen as clinical services. These are often run by community and voluntary groups and generally can be accessed locally by patients.
PEP addresses the gap between medical support needed by patients and other social issues that could affect their health. This could range from debt management, access to lifestyle support or social isolation. GPs from the CCG’s 37 member practices can all refer patients to PEP.
Since launching in September 2014, PEP has helped over 1,000 patients to access non-clinical services that could make improvements to their health. The success of the pilot project has led the CCG to continue funding the service for a further three years.
Dr Mark Fuller, Clinical Lead for Public Health at NHS Leeds West CCG, said: “We’re really pleased to have made it to the shortlist for the HSJ Awards. We know that PEP is making a real difference to people’s lives and have a number of success stories of how people’s lives have been turned around. We hope to share our learning with other colleagues at the HSJ Awards so people in other areas of the country can also benefit from similar initiatives.”
The HSJ Awards recognise, celebrate and promote the finest achievements in the NHS. Shortlisted entrants demonstrate outstanding practice and innovation that help to improve patient care and enhance value and efficiency. The shortlisted organisations will now complete presentations and interviews to a judging panel made up of senior and influential figures from the health sector.