What do we deliver?

Ways to Wellness is a service for people aged 18-74, in Newcastle upon Tyne whose daily lives are affected by certain long-term health conditions. GPs and their primary care teams use social prescribing to refer patients to the service.

The eligible long-term health conditions are:

  • Chronic breathing difficulties (COPD) or Asthma
  • Diabetes (type 1 or type 2)
  • Heart disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Thinning of the bones (osteoporosis)
  • Hypertension
  • Pre-diabetes (non-diabetic hyperglycaemia)
  • Osteoarthritis of the hip/knee
  • Any of the above with depression and/or anxiety

Please click here for a list of participating GP practices.

GPs, nurses and hospital and community healthcare professionals can make referrals to the Ways to Wellness service. Each GP practice has a dedicated team of named link workers who work with patients registered at their practice. Within a week of referral, the patient will be contacted by their link worker to arrange a time for the first meeting, which will take place in their local area. Secure (nhs.net) email addresses are provided to send referrals and other confidential information. If you're unsure which contact to use for your GP practice or NHS team, please contact: info@waystowellness.org.uk

Ways to Wellness adds to and complements the medical support that people receive, to help them feel more confident to manage their long-term conditions and make positive lifestyle choices.

The aim of the service is to improve patients’ quality of life and reduce their use of mainstream health services by enabling them to lead healthier lives and better manage their conditions. It will also reduce the cost of meeting their needs, particularly to Newcastle Gateshead Clinical Commissioning Group and other parts of the NHS.

To achieve this, Ways to Wellness provides patients with a link worker to help them identify and work to overcome their current barriers to managing their long-term conditions. The link workers will work with patients to produce an agreed action plan, which may include a range of activities, such as:

  • Getting involved in local groups and activities
  • Developing positive relationships
  • Accessing specialist services and support
  • Healthy eating and cooking
  • Getting more active
  • Getting support around benefits and welfare rights

Social prescribing is not new to Newcastle upon Tyne (or elsewhere) and this project is the culmination of many years of effort to test ways of making it work.

What makes the Ways to Wellness service exceptional is the scale, the degree of integration with the work of general practices and the project’s long term nature. The project offers social prescribing for up to 3,500 patients at any one time in Newcastle.

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