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Over 60s can get advice about their bills - as well as their pills - at two Norwich surgeries

PUBLISHED: 12:25 06 May 2017 | UPDATED: 12:25 06 May 2017

A pilot scheme has been started where elderly people can get help for things like housing issues at their surgery. Pjoto: St Stephens Gate Medical Practice

A pilot scheme has been started where elderly people can get help for things like housing issues at their surgery. Pjoto: St Stephens Gate Medical Practice

St Stephens Gate Medical Practice

A visit to the doctors surgery could help elderly people with their bills - as well as their pills - under a new scheme in Norwich.

A pilot scheme has been started where elderly people can get help for things like housing issues at their surgery. Pjoto: St Stephens Gate Medical PracticeA pilot scheme has been started where elderly people can get help for things like housing issues at their surgery. Pjoto: St Stephens Gate Medical Practice

People aged over 60 who would like a little extra help with housing issues or their benefits can now use an advice service based in two GP surgeries.

The pilot scheme is offered at both Lionwood Surgery and St Stephens Gate surgery, where trained advisors run clinics where people can ask questions, make an appointment or be referred by their GP or nurse.

The sort of things they can help with include housing, adaptations at home to make everyday living easier and safer, advice on getting help at home, benefits, care alarms and making new friends or finding new things to do for a fulfilling life.

The overall aim is to help people keep independent at home and reduce loneliness.

Nicky Galwey-Woolston, from the organisation behind the scheme, Cotman Housing Association, said: “We find that some people don’t know what they don’t know, and they struggle to manage without being aware of the help that is available.”

Cotman Housing has been running the advice service for three years but it has only recently opened clinics at Lionwood and St Stephens Gate.

Many of the people who have used the service so far benefit from a little extra help and support following life-changing events such bereavement or diagnosis of serious illness.

St Stephens Gate practice manager, James Foster, said: “This is a really great service, and another example of how partners in Norwich are forward thinking, to make sure we have services that local people can use, in the way they want to.”

Lyn Boston, practice manager at Lionwood surgery said: “You don’t need to be a patient at one of our surgeries, you can just pop in to one of the clinics.

“And any GP or other health and care professionals are very welcome to tell the people they are looking after about the clinics.”

The clinics will continue running until August 31. People can phone 01603 731696 for an appointment, ask the GP receptionist for a referral or walk in.

The clinic at St Stephens Gate runs on Tuesdays, 9am to noon, at 55 Wessex Street, Norwich.

The clinic at Lionwood runs on Wednesdays, 9am to noon, at Wellesley Avenue North, Norwich.

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