Introducing the Social Prescribing Team for the Carnforth & Milnthorpe Primary Care Network

Date posted: 1st December 2021

The Social Prescribing Team (SPT) for the Carnforth & Milnthorpe Primary Care Network forms part of the wellbeing hub for Carnforth and Milnthorpe Primary Care Network, and was relaunched in August 2021, following the fantastic work previously provided by former GP Link Workers, Sue Birchall and Samantha White. The new team was set up in August 2021 and provides support for patients from Park View Surgery in Milnthorpe and Ash Trees Surgery in Carnforth with all outlying  branch surgeries across a large area of 33,000 patients from Halton in Lancashire to Brigsteer in Cumbria. Liz Butler, Practice Manager at Park View Surgery, Milnthorpe, helped to set up the new team as there was an increasing need for the area, with a view to provide more proactive support for our patients.

Carnforth & Milnthorpe Social Prescribing Team.JPG 








Here we find out more from the team:

Can you tell us more about what do the Social Prescribing Team do on a daily basis?

SPT said: “Each Monday morning we go through all new emails relating to the patients who have been referred to us and allocated them to members of the team. The team accepts referrals from GPs and other health care professionals and organisations.  People can also self-refer into the service by calling 01539777364 or emailing 

“We are currently in contact with 74 patients and this is growing all the time. We contact patients by ringing or visiting them and keep in touch for as long as they need it.  We go through a questionnaire with patients which helps to show what support they need and flags up other areas they may need advice and support with such as benefits and housing, and we can signpost them on to these services. We are not medically trained but we can refer people back to the right medical services. 

“We can help support people with a range of issues including social isolation, loneliness, emotional wellbeing, healthy lifestyle choices (including chair-based exercises), getting out and about, life-changing events such as birth and deaths, long-term health conditions, loss of confidence and purpose, poor health linked to housing/housing conditions and accessing work training and volunteering.

“We are working hard to set up groups where there are gaps in provision. These include a wellbeing café at Brief Encounter at Carnforth Train Station and a Walking for Health group for people with limited mobility which will both start early next year (details will be released soon). We have also set up a swimming group which will start on Thursday 6 January from 2.45pm to 3.45pm for anyone who has a disability or is struggling with confidence and isolation. The group will be held at Carnforth Community Swimming Pool and will give people the opportunity to make new friends. To book a place or find out more about the group, please call 01539777364 or email 

“The team has spent the past few months building up our contacts across the partnership, third sector and community groups so that we can provide the right support to those referred into our service. We also attend events to promote the support we can offer. We will be releasing details of upcoming events soon.”

Who works in the Social Prescribing Team?

SPT said “Our team includes:

  • Vicky Byram, Care Co-ordinator
  • Sue Birchall, Social Prescriber
  • Jodie Evans-Bintcliffe, Social Prescriber
  • Jemma Metcalfe-Gibson, Social Prescriber
  • Nicola Blinston-Yearsley, Social Prescriber 
  • Sophie Whetnall, Health and Wellbeing Coach. 
  • Sam White, Social Prescriber (currently on maternity leave)."

What are the goals of the Social Prescribing Team? 

SPT said: “We want to support people who want to make a positive change in their lives. We do this by listening to their needs, providing support, encouragement and useful information, or by referring them on to others who can help.

“Our team also helps to alleviate the pressure on our GP surgeries. In some cases, a lot of the phone calls GP surgeries are receiving are from people who do not need medical attention but we can sit and make a plan with them to help to make improvements to their lives. 

“Prevention is another big goal of the team. For example, if we can help support people to lose weight, this will in turn help to prevent them from developing long-term conditions like diabetes and having to attend our GPs and hospitals for care.”

Have you had any feedback from people using the service?

SPT said: “Feedback has been positive and patients are grateful for our support. For us, it is nice to see the interventions that we are making are helping people to overcome problems they may have and to change their lifestyles for the better.”

How can people find out more?

SPT said: “You can contact the team by calling 01539777364 or emailing or check out the team’s Facebook page here.

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