Shifting Demand for Non Medical Services Evaluation Report

This evaluation looked at the feasibility and utility of a city-wide, brief intervention provided by community support workers to link people with non-medical issues to a range of services and support. The GP referral system effectively identified people at high risk of avoidable hospital admissions. Over 90% of patients referred received an assessment from a community support worker (CSW). The approach used by CSWs was consistent with the international evidence base for providing effective peer support. Clients initially self-reported reduced anxiety and social isolation. After being linked, however, there were delays in getting needs met, leading to disengagement and return to the high risk group. Effectiveness of the service is dependent upon the capacity and responsiveness of the sectors to which clients are referred.<br>