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The patient information leaflet (pdf, 145 KB) (opens new window) provides a brief overview of the scheme, answers frequently asked questions, and contains the list of books available to borrow through the scheme.
If you would like to know more about the Books on Prescription Scheme, please contact Jonathan Davies at Bristol Primary Care Trust on 0117 900 2296
Working with Bristol Primary Care Trust we provide a service for people who want to overcome a range of common emotional and psychological difficulties or issues.
In addition to, or instead of medication, GPs and other health workers will be able to prescribe self-help books.
In much the same way that your GP can prescribe medication for you to pick up at the chemist, health workers can now prescribe a range of self-help books which can be collected from libraries across Bristol.
You will be provided with a prescription form that gives details of the book or books that you have been prescribed. You can then take the form to your local library and borrow them free of charge.
The books which are part of the scheme have been chosen by a range of specialist health professionals, counsellors and academics. Some of the books contain exercises, self-assessments and treatment programmes for you to work through as you read them. These are designed to raise your self-awareness and then suggest courses of action to help, often simple behavioural or thought strategies.
As with other self-help methods, you will need to commit a certain amount of effort to following the suggestions in the book.
Do I have to be a member of the library to use this service?
Yes, but if you are not already a member, the library staff will accept the prescription as identification and help you to join for free there and then.
What if the book isn’t available?
We will reserve a copy for you free of charge or direct you to the nearest library with a copy available.
Is the scheme confidential?
The books are identified by a number rather than title on the prescription. Staff will find the book for you using this number and treat your prescription confidentially. All library staff work to the requirements of the Data Protection Act. Think of library staff in the same way that you might think of your pharmacist – as someone who delivers what is prescribed professionally and discreetly.
How long can I borrow a book for?
Books can be borrowed for three weeks. As long as no one else has requested your book it can then be renewed for a further three weeks once your loan finishes.
What if the book has pages to be filled in?
Most books do contain sections to be completed by you, but we ask that you do not write in the library books. Instead, please photocopy the pages you need and write on the copies.
What if the book doesn’t help?
We know that these books often help, but they may not work for everyone. To get the best out of them you should be prepared to put some effort into working through the book. If you do not feel that you have benefited from the book(s) and are in need of more help, please go back to the person who prescribed the book, or visit your GP. They will be able to offer further guidance.
Library service Central Library, Library Service College Green Bristol, BS1 5TL
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Work: 0117 903 7200
- Text phone: 0117 357 4444 (TexBox. Choose 'Central Library')
- Fax: 0117 922 1081