Project could see Honiton residents treated by GPs in village halls

PUBLISHED: 15:08 16 May 2017 | UPDATED: 08:44 23 May 2017

TRIP's office manager Neil Hurlock. Ref mhh 24-16SH 7668. Picture: Simon Horn.

TRIP's office manager Neil Hurlock. Ref mhh 24-16SH 7668. Picture: Simon Horn.

Archant

A mobility charity needs £48,000 to kickstart to innovative scheme.

A trailblazing project could see medical professionals treat residents in various village halls – but only if the charity proposing the idea receives the necessary funding.

Mobility charity TRIP, based in New Street in Honiton, wants to launch the £48,000 scheme to help save the NHS money and encourage lonely people to get out and about.

Neil Hurlock, manager of the charity, said the group failed to secure funding for the scheme earlier this year – but will continue to look at other fundraising streams to kickstart the project.

Under the charity’s proposals, people would be taken to various village halls around East Devon for functions and events, such as social coffee mornings and talks.

As part of the scheme, GPs, therapists and other medical professionals could then come along to the venues and treat and advise people while there.

“We needed £48,000 to cover the development and initial running costs of this project,” Mr Hurlock said.

“If we can not get the scheme off the ground, then we might look at getting a scaled-down version up and running after a consultation with the hall management committees and medical professionals.

“This project will hopefully save the NHS money and it will enable them to see more of their patients in a shorter space of time.

“It will also benefit the patients, because instead of being at home by themselves they are meeting up with possibly old friends or making new ones while they are getting treatment.

“The village halls would also hopefully be able to make money from this scheme as well, as it could increase their user numbers.”

The idea was born after Mr Hurlock noticed a Communities Together fund that had become available.

The fund was looking for new and innovative ideas to reduce isolation and save the health service money.

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