Social determinants such as access to housing, education and employment, social supports, as well as postcode, strongly influence health. While directly addressing these factors may be outside of the scope of our PHN, there are primary care-based approaches that can alleviate the impact of the social determinants of health. GPs report they are often consulted about social issues and need the resources to assist and empower people to address these aspects of their lives. Social prescribing is a practical way to address the social determinants of health from within the primary care system. Social prescribing enables health professionals to refer consumers to local community services and supports to improve their health and wellbeing.
We have begun a trial of social prescribing that enables providers to refer consumers to a range of existing community services to overcome social isolation and barriers to accessing health services, and ultimately reduce inequity in our society.
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