Taking pressure off the NHS

5 July 2018

Porchlight GP Link service - taking pressure of the NHS

We love the NHS – that’s why we run a service designed to ease the pressure on overstretched GPs, doctors and nurses.

Our Community Link service works closely with GPs in:

  • Swale
  • Thanet
  • Dartford, Gravesham & Swanley
  • Folkestone, Dover & Deal.

Like many others, we are delighted that the NHS is turning 70. We want to put in the work to ensure it is around for many more years to come.

Why are Porchlight and the NHS working together?

When someone’s mental health declines, it could be due to the effect of ongoing social problems - such as housing issues, debt or becoming isolated from others. In these instances, tackling these underlying problems can improve their mental health... which is where Porchlight comes in.

We can provide specialist support in these areas, alleviating the pressures they face and allowing their wellbeing to improve. Of course, if these problems aren’t addressed then a person’s mental health can worsen and their situation becomes more serious.

What support does Porchlight give?

We can support with everything from mental health and healthy living to finding work and housing support. Because our support is long-term, the likelihood of people returning to their GP is much slimmer. Ultimately, this means that GP and the NHS can focus on people with more severe needs.

What role do GPs play?

Many GPs are aware of the work we do. If they believe a patient’s mental health and general situation can be improved with our help, they will refer that patient to us. 

The partnership has been praised by Dr Jihad Malasi, the lead doctor for mental health in the Thanet CCG (clinical commissioning group) area.

He says: "I have personally referred many times to Porchlight, and rely on them to offer that extra help in patients’ time of need. Porchlight often attend with patients and advocate for them. I have always been impressed with their willingness and commitment to go the extra mile, whether it’s homelessness, social problems or mental illness. There is no doubt in my mind that they are integral to how we improve mental health and wellbeing in Thanet.”