An innovative scheme to support residents is to roll out across Aberdeen.
Aberdeen Health and Social Care Partnership (AHSCP) launched the Link Practitioner framework earlier this year, which signposts patients at GP surgeries to services they may find beneficial.
Senior link practitioner John Mulhern said: “We take referrals from doctors for people presenting with nonmedical needs.
“Over the first month the practices have referred over 41 people to me and they presented with a number of issues.
“People whose financial worries are affecting their health, people having housing issues, people diagnosed with other conditions who are struggling to manage their own social situations.”
Rachael Gibbon, one of the link practitioners, said: “We had someone we dealt with who came out of a lengthy hospital stay to find her benefits had been suspended.
“She had no money, so she sought help from her GP who then referred her to the service.
“What we did was contact the department of work and pensions to figure out what her benefits situation was.
“We found her a local foodbank to support her in the first few days. We also found out through this her accommodation was unsuitable due to her health condition.
“We referred her to the council which was able to support her with the appropriate paperwork to apply for new housing.”
Dr Raj Gupta, lead GP at Scotstown Medical Practice in Bridge of Don, said: “We know there are a lot of unmet needs in our society, but we don’t know what they are exactly.
“At some point, all these pressures translate into physical debilities and that can start a cascade of attendance at primary care clinics.”
Billy Watson, chief executive of mental health charity SAMH, said: “SAMH believes this new city-wide service in Aberdeen is innovative and breaking new ground in Scotland.”