Social Prescribing

We work with hundreds of voluntary organisations whose efforts help people feel better. It comes in many forms, whether that is improving fitness, finding purpose, finding friendships –  they routinely record the difference through our tools, including the Impact Assessment App.

I just been learning a little more about social prescribing from Locality, as part of their Health and Wellbeing network.

The government (or rather NHS and Public Health England) define social prescribing as referring patients to a link worker who will help them find non-medical ways to improve their life.

Through the Patient Empowerment Project local charity Barca Leeds saw 1400 people in the first two years and now are getting about 100 people referred each month.

This is how things have turned out


They sum up their work in a simple way:

“The activities are social – the impact is medical.”

The government is currently looking to encourage the development of social prescribing with partnerships between local charities and local CCG’s or Local authorities:

They are looking to provide up to £300k in the first year to create a social prescribing mechanism which involves gp’s referring to link workers who will then provide non-medical interventions to improve health. 
They will only fund year 1 and need partners to have a commitment from ccg or similar to agree to fund after that. 

Issues outstanding are:

  • It’s key to integrate social prescribing into the current health systems
  • CCG’s need to be on board for this funding
  • At the moment there isn’t funding for the people who provide the social prescribing – even though the outcome is medical.


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