The Midlothian Wellbeing Service is a partnership between Midlothian Health and Social Care Partnership, the Thistle Foundation and the Community Health Inequalities Team. Wellbeing Practitioners are based in eight local GP practices – Bonnyrigg, Dalkeith, Eastfield, Newbattle, Newbyres and Penicuik – and work alongside the GPs and other practice staff to support people with long term conditions.
We all know that GPs are limited in the time they can provide in each appointment – on average around 7.5 minutes – and often people have other issues they want to discuss. So GPs and other practice staff can refer people to the Wellbeing Service where people will be offered time with a Wellbeing Practitioner. The role of the Wellbeing Practitioners is to provide the time and space for people to talk about what it important to them and how they can move forward with some of the challenging issues in their life, including their health issues.
The key to this is supporting people to identify what matters to them, not what the matter is with them, and for the focus to be on how they are already coping and managing (their own resources and resourcefulness), and what they would want to change in the future. From this ‘good conversation’ people begin to identify small and sometimes larger steps that they can take to make those changes, and also identify what support they might need to do this.
Adults from 18 to 90+ are accessing the Wellbeing Service, and in being given the time to talk and reflect are making changes which ultimately benefits their mental and physical health – their whole wellbeing.