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9 May 2017

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Practice scheme to help elderly patients with housing and benefits

Two practices in Norwich have come together to provide a housing and benefits advice service to patients aged over 60.

The pilot scheme, introduced three years ago by Cotman Housing Association, is now being offered in practices for the first time at Lionwood Medical Practice and St Stephens Gate Medical Practice.

Trained advisors at the practices run clinics where older patients can ask questions, make an appointment or be referred to other services by their GP or nurse.

The advisors are able to provide information about housing, home adaptations to make everyday living easier and safer, advice on getting help at home, benefits, care alarms and ways to connect more with their community.

The aim of the project is to assist older patients to remain in their homes for longer, with more independence and reduced loneliness.

Nicky Galwey-Woolston of the Cotman Housing Association said: ‘We find that some people don’t know what they don’t know, and they struggle to manage without being aware of the help that is available.’

The practice manager for St Stephens Gate Medical Practice, James Foster, said: ‘This is a really great service, and another example of how partners in Norwich are forward thinking, to make sure we have services that local people can use, in the way they want to.’

Lyn Boston, practice manager at Lionwood surgery said: ‘You don’t need to be a patient at one of our surgeries, you can just pop in to one of the clinics.

‘And any GP or other health and care professionals are very welcome to tell the people they are looking after about the clinics.’