Letters

It is not solely alternatives to placing a social worker in a GP practice which will promote a one-stop health and social care service ('Over the Wall' pages 22-23, 16 November).

Most social workers now work only with children in need or at risk, or only with older people.

But families often grapple with issues spanning mental health and community care as well as services for children, the family and older people.

The Family Welfare Association has four years' experience providing first-stop holistic support services from GP practices (our WellFamily services), whether the staff have their office in a community hospital, health centre, GP practice or social services family resource centre. Patients appreciate the non-stigmatising and responsive approach that a voluntary, independent organisation gives.

They also want a holistic approach to improving health that addresses emotional, social, family relationship, parenting and mental health needs as well as socio-economic needs (letters, pages 24-25, 16 November). It also increases access for others, and reduces missed appointments by guiding, preparing and assisting them to take up appropriate specialist statutory or voluntary and community services.

Surely every practice in the country should have one.

Lonica Vanclay Service manager Family Welfare Association London E8