Barking and Dagenham pop-up clinics

Barking and Dagenham team

The Barking and Dagenham Innovators Project was part of the participant cohort of the Social Prescribing Innovators Programme pilot from 2022 to 2023.

The project aim

The aim of the project was to improve access to social prescribing services for those in the community who aren’t able to access via the GP referral pathway.

The target goals/outcomes

  • Increase the number of social prescribing referrals for vulnerable patient groups
  • Create alternative and easier referral pathway, in a relaxed and welcoming
  • Reduce the number of non-medical GP appointments

Project highlights

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Saved from GP
appointments not being
needed (approx cost £40
per GP appointment)

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“The nappies and milk given to me for my 8-week-old baby was so needed – I felt listened to and was given support quickly.”

Single mum, asylum seeker

The impact of the project

The project improved access to social prescribing and community support through:

  • Holding pop-up clinics in community venues across five PCN areas
  • Each PCN ran individual events and one joint event in aid of Social Prescribing Day
  • Third-sector organisations have been invited to share services and enable sign-ups
  • 399 patients attended pop-ups which was estimated to save £15,960 in reduced GP
  • 87% of patients seen in the 20 pop-up clinics received social prescribing support
    either through full referral or signposting with Link Workers and Care Coordinators
  • 19,000 patients invited from different cohorts on different days including Mental
    Health, Carer, over 75’s, learning disability patients, frequent attenders and families with children under 5
  • Housing was the main area of concern for patients as 53% needed housing support,
    closely followed by Money & Debt, Family Support and Healthy Lifestyles

The project proactively targeted ‘at risk’ cohorts of patients through:

  • Providing safe space to meet in a community setting, allowing more time to sit with patients, understand needs and support with immediate referrals
  • Developing stronger relationships between third sector services in local area and social prescribing link workers

“Thank you so much for listening and supporting with food and mental health services. I am now volunteering to support others”

Newly diagnosed mental health patient

Next Steps

  • After the project success, funding has been granted from a Covid funding pot to roll out a Pop Up every other month for the next 12 months in each PCN across Barking and Dagenham.
  • Secured buy in from senior staff across the PCNs to ensure cross sector representation at the Pop Ups.
  • Pop Ups will be run in partnership between Health, Local Authority and the third sector – inviting a range of different organisations to support with venue hire, catering, support to residents, or signposting of services.