Nadine Lane – Macmillan Social Prescriber and Public Health Manager, Kingston
I started working for the NHS 10 years ago on my return to work after raising my family. I started as an administrative assistant for the weight management area within Kingston Public Health and then became team coordinator for the healthy lifestyles team. I now spend half my time as a Social Prescriber for Macmillan, based at the Surbiton Health Centre, and the other time operating the healthy lifestyles helpline service in the Kingston Public Health department.
Social Prescribing is relatively new to Kingston, it’s about supporting people, either through signposting or referring them directly to a service, or discussing with them a plan of action so they can reach their own goals. This enables them to build their confidence and feel empowered. An example might be to help someone identify a friend who can assist them with buying their first mobile phone or to arrange home maintenance.
Public Health has so much variety of activity. Working to prevent ill health is good because each one of us can do it – we can all look after our health. We can’t all treat people, but we can all help ourselves and teach others to prevent the conditions that lead to ill health. It is great to work with health professionals that you trust and know the information is from the right source rather than what you read in the newspapers! If you want to learn how to live well, work with or listen to the right people.
My most memorable moment was the NHS’ 60th anniversary. We held an event in Kingston marketplace which included, as well as ‘healthy living’ stalls, an outdoor aerobics class, BMI weight checks and ‘street doctor’ health consultations. This was my first Public Health event and I have very fond memories of the occasion.