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antonia April 24, 2024

How could advice on prescription help you?

Advice on prescription aims to improve mental health and wellbeing by supporting patients with non-medical issues that may impact their health. 

The team at Citizen’s Advice in Broxtowe can provide practical information, advice and ongoing support to patients who are experiencing problems such as housing, employment, welfare benefits, rising debts, money management and other practical matters. 

A carer recently needed support, and turned to his GP for help. His GP put him in touch with a social prescriber, which led him to the team at Citizen’s Advice.  Social prescribing aims to provide support that looks at you as a whole person, not just your physical or mental health needs. The support considers your physical, emotional, social and spiritual wellbeing. By helping you find solutions to the causes, such as support with housing, debts, finances or employment and by becoming more involved in your local community.

He is a full-time carer for his wife who suffers from severe Crohn’s disease and has had much of her bowel removed. Due to issues linked to her condition he has to shower her at least five times a day. She is depressed and has frequent suicidal ideation. Her sleep patterns are erratic and she must be watched whenever she is awake.

He is exhausted and sleep-deprived and now suffers stress and anxiety as well as some physical health problems. A social prescriber from a surgery in Broxtowe, sent him to Citizen’s Advice for help sorting out his benefits. His wife has applied for Limited Capability for Work benefits but he now has to also fill in a Universal Credit 50 form for himself and he had no idea where to start. An Early Intervention Worker at Citizen’s Advice Broxtowe, started by helping him fill in the UC50 form so he will now get £86.50 a week. Sally Bestwick, Operations Director at CA Broxtowe, part of CA Central Nottinghamshire said:

“He was under the impression that his wife’s Personal Independence Payment (PIP) claim was for both him and his wife. I was able to advise him to make a separate PIP claim for himself, potentially bringing into the household an annual benefit of £8, 500.

“He is isolated as his wife’s mental health means that she won’t have any visitors to the house. We informed him about online support forums for carers such as, Carers UK www.carersuk.

“We have since helped him make a claim for Council Tax Rebate and collect all the proofs.

“He had been put off applying for a Blue Badge for his wife because of the cost of getting a GP letter as proof. We advised him that his wife will automatically qualify for a Blue badge once she is awarded enough mobility points on PIP.”

This is just one example of how advice on prescription can help someone struggling. This carer has faced a lot of challenges but the team at Citizen’s Advice have helped to make his life a little easier and helped him get the financial support he is entitled to which will reduce stress and anxiety and improve day to day life.

If you could benefit from this service please do speak to your GP or ask reception if they have a social prescriber at the practice.