Social Prescribing Case Study March 2024

A patient was referred to the Social Prescribing service by their GP after being threatened with eviction from their flat, which was having an impact on their mental health.

After speaking with the patient it was evident to the Social Prescribing Link Worker (SPLW) there were a number of issues.  The patient was on a Starter Tenancy, which they had been told would not be made permanent due to them not complying with the terms of the tenancy by failing to use it as their main residence.  The patient felt lost and did not know what to do. 

The patient explained to their SPLW that they have poor literacy and did not understand the tenancy documents they signed.  They are a carer for two separate family members whom they do not live with.  The patient admitted they had stayed with their family members on a few occasions when they have been particularly unwell, but states the flat is their primary residence.  They felt the Housing Officer was curt and unhelpful, not taking the time to understand the circumstances.  In addition, the patient was really struggling for money due to their benefits not being paid, in particular the housing element of Universal Credit, leading to rent arrears.   

To meet the patient’s immediate needs the SPLW issued a foodbank voucher.   

Then, with the patient’s permission, the SPLW contacted the Housing Officer to discuss the patient’s circumstances, asking if it was possible for the Housing Officer to meet the patient in person to explain the tenancy agreement, ensuring that they fully understood their responsibilities.  The SPLW referred into the Money Advice Officer to help with benefits and asked for a referral to Tenancy Support but unfortunately there was none available.    

The SPLW discussed Community Transport as the patient was struggling to get their family member to hospital appointments and also discussed Carer Support Services but the patient declined any referrals. 

Sadly, during support, one of the family members the patient was caring for passed away.  Bereavement services and the wellbeing service were offered to support the patient. 

The Housing Officer was not aware the patient was unable to fully understand the tenancy documents and visited the patient to explain the tenancy agreement and responsibilities fully.  They have a much better relationship now.  The Starter Tenancy was extended to allow the patient to prove they are adhering to the tenancy agreement and to reduce the arrears.   

The Money Advice Officer has helped to set up the patient’s benefits correctly and has requested a back-payment for the rent, which they are hopeful they will get.  

The patient feels confident that they can maintain the tenancy going forward and their anxieties have reduced. 

The patient is considering the Wellbeing Service for talking therapies and is grateful for the support offered from all parties. They are now aware how to ask for help in the future, should they need it. 

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