Books prescribed to patients in UK

PATIENTS are being prescribed self-help books by GPs to complement more traditional treatments, thanks to an innovative new scheme in Wiltshire.

Designed to help patients cope with common psychological and emotional difficulties such as anxiety, depression and stress, it enables health professionals to prescribe highly recommended self-help books.

Books on Prescription is a partnership between Wiltshire County Council and Wiltshire Primary Care Trust.

The books have been chosen by doctors, psychologists and counsellors from those which have proved useful to patients in similar schemes across the country. The doctor issues a prescription’ for the recommended book, which the patient then takes to their local library.

All the county’s main libraries hold copies of the books, or they can be requested free of charge from any Wiltshire library.

The scheme falls within Wiltshire County Council’s goal to be the healthiest county by 2010.

Head of primary care psychology in Avon and Wilts Mental Health Partnership, Dr Liz Howells, said: “There is good evidence to support this scheme and it means GPs have more options to offer their patients.”

Tessa Cozens from Wiltshire Libraries said: “It is easy to borrow a book on prescription, even if you are not already a library member. Simply hand in your prescription and say you need to join.

“Think of your library as you would your local pharmacy – a place where you get a friendly, professional and confidential service,” she added.

For more details on any of Wiltshire County Council’s services, please visit www.wiltshire.gov.uk.

Wiltshire Times
Jan 15 2007