THE SHADOW health minister made an appointment with health volunteers to hear about their pioneering scheme.
Jon Ashworth accompanied Wentworth and Dearne MP John Healey to Voluntary Action Rotherham to hear about the charity’s social prescribing service and its impact on users’ lives.
The scheme helps GP and mental health service patients to avoid hospital stays, by signposting them to voluntary and community support groups.
Activities and advice offered include exercise, arts and crafts, befriending, financial support and self-help programmes.
One of the country’s biggest such schemes, it has been operating since 2012 in partnership with around 20 organisations.
It has won national awards and was highly commended in the Health Service Journal Awards for Supporting Self-Care.
Mr Ashworth met this month with Janet Wheatley, Voluntary Action Rotherham’s chief executive.
He also spoke with representatives of the service’s support groups and patients helped by them.
Mr Healey said: “It’s great for Rotherham to be on the map for something as innovative and positive as this.”
Janet added: “It was a really good discussion, which gave a good sense of how the service works and highlighted how innovative and effective our schemes are.”