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What is social Prescribing and what are the benefits?

Social Prescribing is a means of enabling GPs and other front line healthcare professionals to refer patients to a link worker. This provides them with a face-to-face conversation during which they can learn about opportunities to improve their health and well-being.  People with social, emotional or practical needs are empowered to find and design their own personal solutions, i.e. ‘co-produce’ their ‘social prescription’, often using services provided by the voluntary and community sector. It is an innovative and growing movement, with the potential to reduce the financial burden on the NHS, particularly within primary care.


Why is Social Prescribing important?

1. Personalised Care will benefit up to 2.5 million people giving them the
same choice and control over their mental and physical health that they
have come to expect in every other aspect of their life;

2. Over 1,000 trained social prescribing link workers will be in place by
2020/21 rising further by 2023/24, with the aim that over 900,000 people
are able to be referred to social prescribing schemes by then. Social
prescribing link workers connect people to wider community support which
that can help improve their health and well-being and to engage and deal
with some of their underlying causes of ill health.

3. 200K people will have a personal health budget so they can control their
own care, improve their health experiences and experience better value
for money services over a “one size fits all” approach;

4.     Enabling patients and communities to be the driving force, flexing their
civic muscles and co-designing solutions to improve their own health and
wellbeing. Evidencing the importance of Social Prescribing using an Asset
Based approach is a report of the Inquiry into Asset Based Health
produced by the Health Innovation Lab, launched last week at the House
of Commons.


Social prescribing, sometimes referred to as community referral, is a means of enabling GPs, nurses and other primary care professionals to refer people to arrange of local, non-clinical services.Social Prescribing is key to the delivery of the NHS Long Term Plan for Universal

Personalised Care The Croydon Social Prescribing programme is an example of social prescribing in action. Successfully delivered by Croydon Social P, since 2017, it is built on three basic principles engagement, opportunities and support, finding the best ways of engaging with the patients and the wider Croydon community, developing an array of local based opportunities proven to assist in their health self-management and supporting them through the transition of long term behavioural change.


These can be direct referrals to the programmes from GP’s or self-
referrals from any organisation or individual. Both Lead Trainers Paul Macey and Jennine Bailey are apart of Croydon Social P’s Strategic Lead Team and Coordinators, as well as ABCD Experts, being well placed to train, coach and mentor others in Social Prescribing good practice.

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