Innovative trials and a high-level discussion forum have put social referrals high on the primary care agenda.

Can prescribing social groups and activities help combat a health issue as bad as smoking?

hen Tom went to his GP in Melbourne’s west earlier this year, his doctor asked him about his ongoing health issues.

But although Tom had suffered an acquired brain injury as a child, leaving him with an intellectual disability, this time there was another reason he had sought help.

It was his long-term social isolation Tom agreed with the lineworker to visit the local community centre – to which Tom had never been – together. Tom was introduced to a group of people who had similar experiences to his own. There were 12 there that morning,,

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