Housebound residents in Hebburn are being given a helping hand to visit their GP surgery.
A pilot project is underway to transport patients who would otherwise rely on home visits by their doctor to Hebburn Health Centre.
The joint venture by Ellison View Surgery and Age UK aims to help tackle social isolation as well as give elderly people the opportunity to find out more about services available that can support them in everyday life.
The project has already seen transport for patients carried out with further opportunities for the service later this month and in March.
Surgery manager Jackie Mahon said: “Seven people, who would otherwise receive a home visit, took the opportunity to take part in the pilot project.
“It was a great success and it enabled some of them to see their own GP. With home visits it is not always their own GP who calls.
It was a great success and it enabled some of them to see their own GP, as with home visits it is not always their own GP who calls out to see them.Jackie Mahon
“We had a representative from Age UK who explained what services were on offer and there was some take up.
“One person booked in for a falls assessment in the home and another inquired about the befriending service.”
The patients eligible for the service were chosen by the surgery, and were those who would be able to attend if they were supported.
It is hoped information on other services will be provided on future occasions.
Jackie Jamieson, policy officer at Age UK South Tyneside, has been co-ordinating the service in partnership with Ellison View Surgery.
She said: “This is a unique opportunity to improve patient care for older people to address emotional, physical and social issues through social prescribing, which are often missed if people are isolated with limited contact.
“Each of the older people who attended were given the opportunity to meet other people, build their confidence and get out and about.
“We’re delighted to be supporting this initiative, as were keen to ensure support is provided to as many older people in South Tyneside as possible.”