Bridgend’s first Cluster Funded Community Navigator has proved a huge success, helping over 150 patients in the first year in the job.
Mair Jones started work as Bridgend’s first cluster funded Community Navigator last year. Since then, she has helped 160 patients through social prescribing. As a Community Navigator, Mair sees people who have been referred to her through the surgery, community nursing, social worker or any other partner. Often patients with mental health issues, dementia, schizophrenia or low mood will be referred to Mair by their GP or the surgeries’ Care Navigation system.
Mair said: “Lots of the time mental health issues can be linked to being lonely, so to try to address that, I can look at the person holistically, find out what their interests are and signpost them to groups in the community. For example, if they are interested in knitting, I can find them a knitting group. It’s about preventing social isolation.”
Mair covers five surgeries in Bridgend, the New Surgery and The Medical Centre in Pencoed, Oaktree Surgery, Bridgend Group Practice and Riversdale Surgery.
One of the people Mair has helped is Sharon Brawn from Ewenny. She went to the GP after losing her mother. Sharon said: “I’m new to the area and within a year or so of moving, my mother died suddenly which was devastating. I’d been looking after her since moving from Northamptonshire so I hadn’t been able to go to work, I was very isolated.
“Mair put me in touch with quite a few organisations. She introduced me to some craft groups who were lovely and welcomed me in. She also put me in touch with the Bereavement Centre in Bridgend who were wonderful. Mair opened my eyes to different organisations and helped me get out of the house. She was absolutely great and now I tell everyone about her.”
Social prescribing describes the way health professionals can refer patients to support in the community, in order to improve their health and well-being. The Community Navigator service in Bridgend is available to patients at any of the surgeries Mair supports. Patients can ask their GP or surgery staff to refer them or can self-refer through the surgery.
For more information or to book an appointment with Mair, contact your local sugery or Mair directly on [email protected]