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The Compassion Project Book Launch

The Compassion Project Book Launch

Posted: 25th June 2020

One of our clients has a unique approach to treating their patients. In the small town of Frome, Somerset, the Health Connections Mendip initiative has been using ‘Social Prescribing’ alongside traditional medicine. Social Prescribing is the practice of listening to problems patients have and recommending local groups and organisations alongside traditional medicine. Joint leader of the Frome project, Dr. Julian Abel and writer Lindsay Clarke have now written a book about the initiative.

The Compassion Project’, published on 25th June 2020, explores the idea that mental-wellbeing is as important as physical health. Chronic loneliness is known to increase early deaths by more than 20%, even in people who are physically healthy. The book dives into how people experience loneliness in different capacities, and how the wider community can help. Whether they want to meet new people in a social setting or need extra assistance in the home. Health Connections can point them in the direction of a group or organisation that can help. The project doesn’t just help with traditional loneliness or isolation, but also general life advice.

Abel and Clarke dive into the connection between an integrated local community and mental wellbeing. The book talks about the building blocks of the Health Connections initiative. From the roles of GPs and Health Connectors to the Community Connectors and the general public that run various projects. The project relies on help from the general public and tries to find different ways to get people socialising. They listen to what their patients actually need, and help organise groups and classes based on what people are interested in.

The project has been a success in Frome since its inception in 2013/2014. It reduced the number of hospital admissions by 17% and reduced costs by 21% in 2016/2017. It has also had a nationwide and international interest, with other places around the world starting to adopt this model. ‘The Compassion Project’ gives in-depth details about the initiative and how other places can adopt social prescribing. Priority Pixels is proud to have worked with such a wonderful organisation by designing a website to house their extensive directory. For more information on the work that we did, you can read the full case-study here.

The website directory template is currently available for other NHS trusts, charities and community groups to roll out in their local area.

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