What is new?
Wellspring’s Wellbeing Programme
The programme is designed to work with those local residents who have low to moderate anxiety and depression. They are a cohort often described as “just making it”, and are highly vulnerable to any extra stress or nudge that could precipitate them into higher tier – and more costly – interventions and support. Wellspring’s Wellbeing Programme is an early-intervention strategy, based on the social-prescribing model and designed around 2 strands:
1) Branching Out - Focused 1:1 intervention: Over an average of 9 weeks, a support worker meets participants to set health and wellbeing goals in an action plan. Participants are then supported to achieve these goals and to access activities and support in the community: for example Time Out (peer-support groups) and therapeutic activities, such as creative arts, physical activities, cooking courses or complementary therapies. Such activities are on offer at Wellspring HLC or in the wider community. Participants, if necessary, are referred to agencies or organisations for specialised services, e.g. Womankind for counselling. If wider determinants of health, such as housing, employment or relationships present as hindrances to the mental health and wellbeing of the individual, then the worker supports the individual to address these issues.
2) Time Out Group - Peer-support group especially for those more marginalised groups: This is an important strand of the project as it provides an opportunity for social contact and friendship. The support worker facilitates weekly group get-togethers to promote mutual support and to build social capital. Each week the focus of the group is an agreed-upon activity that can support mental wellbeing, e.g. creative arts, relaxation techniques, healthy eating and cooking, gift making, a physical activity or bingo.
What is the evidence of impact?
To order to determine the impact of the programme we are involved in a joint research project, with the University of the West of England (UWE), called Proving Our Value. The initial results from the research demonstrate the impact of the programme on the number of G.P. consultations in the three months immediately prior to the start of the patient/participants’ involvement in the programme, compared to the three months immediately after completion:
- 1.62 fewer GP consultations per person
- 77 fewer GP consultations between the two periods, equating to a decrease of 33.8%. This is statistically significant (at p=<0.003 ) with a potential saving of £2,772 .
- Between the two time periods there was also a decline of 14% in prescription rates
Over the next few months we will continue to collect data and conduct further analysis to evaluate the economic impact of the Wellbeing Programme. We will continue using outputs and indicators in-line with those from the Office for National Statistics' pioneering Wellbeing project, and to give a clear account of the Social Return of Investment of Wellspring’s Wellbeing Programme.