A local referral and support service, driven by volunteers, that connects people to the health, community and social services they need.
The Australian health system and community services sector is complex and fragmented - and trying to understand, access and navigate this system can be confusing and frustrating.
This idea aims to view health in its widest sense by enabling doctors to additionally "prescribe" non-medical remedies for health problems, such as access to healthy food or secure housing, increased exercise, legal assistance and access to education and family welfare services.
The program recruits and trains a team of volunteers to work with patients and help guide and connect them with the services they need to remain healthy and improve their wellbeing. The volunteers are placed within a Medical Centre, allowing doctors to refer patients to the volunteers for assistance with non-medical issues.
This could include working with patients to identify appropriate services (e.g. legal or housing services, a nutritionist or counsellor), connecting patients to these services, (e.g. tracking down phone numbers, opening times, addresses), assisting patients with directions (printing maps, looking at public transport options, community run transport services), and completing applications.
Volunteers could also follow-up with patients regularly by phone, email or when they visit the health centre, to increase the likelihood of them acting on the referral.