A primary care navigator helped John to get his life back and address his ongoing health and social needs

Case study summary

John’s Primary Care Navigator talks about how he accessed a social prescribing primary care navigator via his GP after the death of his mum and losing his job. After working out what matters to John she was able to help him address his critical health, mental and financial issues, including now  accessing benefits and services he was entitled to and other medical support.


John is in his mid 60’s. He lives alone in a two bedroom flat situated in a tower block, which was left to him by his mother who sadly died in 2013. Since then, John’s health had deteriorated.  As well as poor control of his chronic diseases he then began to suffer from depression after the loss of his mother and being made redundant.

John was referred to the primary care navigator via his GP to see if we could help him in anyway. At first John was reluctant to engage with the primary care navigator as he felt embarrassed and lost and at an all-time low.  We asked John if he would like to pop in for an informal chat, we made this on a regular basis. We began to build a relationship of trust and John began to communicate to us with ease.

He had cared for this mother and his benefits were all stopped when she died, to the point that he could not buy food. John suffered mentally and financially.

Over a period of eight months, we worked alongside foodbanks, The Salvation Army, The Green Doctor, Age UK and Citizens Advice Bureau and worked hard to make sure he could access the benefits and services he was entitled to. This enabled us to support John with food, clothes, paying off debts and energy efficient items for the home.

We also supported John in benefit advice and eventually won his appeal to unblock his benefit of £50 so he could feed himself. We then provided providing crucial medical information which helped to unlock another benefit and the funding was then backdated. It also now entitled him to other benefits too.

All this meant that he could now continue to live in his own house and look after himself. His health has improved and is now in control. John now looks forward to his weekly meet at the local Luncheon Club.

John keeps thanking us for all we did for him but if we did not have access to social prescribing then it would not have been possible to achieve what has been done. John knows that we will always be available if he needs us.