After four months delivering for the city of Southampton, Saints Foundation’s Prescription Delivery Service is set to come to an end, with the team redirecting people to SO:Linked, who are taking on the scheme under a new guise, now the initial crisis has passed.
The initiative, which was set up in partnership with NHS Southampton’s Clinical Commissioning Group and Southampton City Council, was created to support those most in need with accessing their medication from pharmacies due to imposed government guidelines that left them shielding from the coronavirus pandemic.
Since then, Saints Foundation staff have delivered more than 2,000 prescriptions of which 85% have gone to those over 60 years old.
Now, with the service ready to take on the next phase as it transitions into a community helpline from 8th August, Greg Baker, Head of Saints Foundation, paid tribute to his staff for showing such dedication to the cause.
He explained: “It’s been a huge pleasure for us to run this initiative, which I know has proved such a lifeline for many vulnerable people across our community at such a challenging time.
“It’s been a real team effort, with more than 25 members of our staff involved in the scheme in some way, whether manning phones, organising routes or out on the road.
“At a time when much of our normal delivery wasn’t possible, it was great to see so many of the team eager to continue to support the community, all be it a different way.
“Their professionalism and ability to adapt is real testament to just how much they value our community and our city. I have been blown away by their efforts and am incredibly proud of them all.”
“I am looking forward to seeing the project continue as we take a step back, and I know that it’s in very capable hands.”
SO:Linked is a city-wide community navigation service that links people with a huge range of support, community activities and services that Southampton has to offer and the team works with the organisations, community groups and volunteers who make those activities happen.
The SO:Linked navigators help people find alternative ways to access their prescriptions and SO:Linked are working with community groups who deliver prescriptions to people who need it most due to the ongoing impact of Covid-19.
Nicky Judd, SO:Linked’s Programme Manager at Southampton Voluntary Services, also paid tribute to the foundations laid down by the official charity of Southampton Football Club, and hoped that the community navigation service could now help people find ways of getting their prescriptions in the longer term.
She added: “The community of Southampton has stepped up at a challenging time, in incredible ways. Our team of navigators has been able to link people to these fantastic Southampton initiatives that have been essential for people. Saints Foundation’s Prescription Delivery Service is a great example of this. We hope to continue this work between pharmacies and community organisations and we are pleased that people who need to, can use the SO:Linked number for help to get their prescriptions.”
If you feel you can be supported by SO:Linked and are unable of finding an alternative means for prescription delivery, please call 02380 216050 and their friendly team will work with local community organisations to deliver prescriptions. Alternatively, visit Solinked.org.uk.
To find out more about Saints Foundation, please visit southamptonfc.com/saints-foundation.