News & Media

GPs in Torfaen win healthy communities grant


A Welsh scheme to deliver holistic and integrated services to their patients has won new grant funding after being nominated by local GPs.

GPs from Blaenavon in Torfaen submitted the project for a share of our Healthy Communities Grant funding.

Practices working in our buildings around the country were invited to put forward schemes which made a difference to health for their patients. Weekly sessions facilitated by Torfaen & Blaenau Gwent Mind provide a safe place for people to pop along for a ‘cuppa and a chat’ through which they can be supported to tackle any social, financial, emotional and physical barriers preventing them from managing their health and well-being. These informal sessions will take place in the new community conversation space funded by Blaenavon Town Council and Torfaen North Neighbourhood Care Network (NCN).

The scheme forms part of a wider initiative of ‘care navigation’ aimed at appropriately diverting patients away from primary care to services that includes social prescribers, community connectors, employment advice housing support and the Citizens Advice Bureau, all of which can be accessed in the building.

Maria Potter at Blaenavon Medical Practice said: “This weekly interaction will improve patients’ well-being and maintain engagement. It will be facilitated by an outreach worker from Mind but regularly attended by others including financial and housing support, community connectors, family support workers and those involved in promoting physical activity. This will address the mental wellbeing needs of our patients and help to tackle loneliness.”

Denise Suckling, Torfaen & Blaenau Gwent Mind said “We’re very proud and excited to be part of this new initiative. If we can help reduce the stigma around mental health and help reduce social isolation for even one person it will be the success we all want it to be……..bringing local communities together.”

Jonathan Murphy, CEO of Assura, said: “We hear so much in the media about the pressures facing the NHS due to loneliness – and it’s been particularly striking to see that theme running through many of these nominations. This is invaluable insight from GPs about the community projects which make the biggest difference to health for their patients, and we’re absolutely delighted to support them through our buildings.