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New funding and support programme for London’s Social Prescribing Innovators

  • Healthy London Partnership is launching a new pilot programme to support London’s Social Prescribing Link Workers to improve the delivery of social prescribing services in primary care.
  • Successful applicants will receive up to £10,000 in grant funding and six months of dedicated support to tackle a challenge they face through the delivery of a specific social prescribing project.
  • Applications opened on 22 June 2022 and closed on 20 July 2022 – 12 projects across London have been successful and will make up the first cohort of SP Innovators.

Twelve projects from across London will make up the first cohort of Healthy London Partnership’s new Social Prescribing Innovators Programme, which was set up in the Summer to support SP services to tackle some of the biggest health inequalities challenges Londoners face.

The successful applicants, as judged by some of London’s most expert social prescribing professionals, academics, and clinicians, will be supported to deliver a specific project targeting a particular implementation issue, for six months from October 2022. This will include QI training, coaching and support, as well as up to £10,000 in grant funding for each project.

Dr Jagan John, Clinical Director for Personalised Care in London, and Chair of the North East London Clinical Commissioning Group says the programme will unleash powerful ideas from London’s vibrant social prescribing workforce to help overcome some of the implementation challenges of expanding delivery into London’s primary care networks.

“Social prescribing link workers, when based as part of the multi-disciplinary team in primary care networks, can really tackle the health inequalities many Londoners face. Yet time and again we hear how difficult it is to recruit and retain people with the right skills, set up hubs in the right locations, or link to appropriate services in communities outside the health service. This programme will give talented individuals and teams the opportunity to have the support they need to test out new ideas for making sure we can rollout social prescribing right across London, taking a holistic approach to even more people’s health and wellbeing while easing the pressure on the NHS.”

The results of the pilot programme will be shared in March next year. The innovative solutions developed by those who take part in the programme will be shared with all those interested in mainstreaming social prescribing across London’s primary care services and beyond.

To find out more, including a programme brochure and information about the projects teams, visit our Personalised Care project page.


Current projects

Our Personalised Care Team deliver a number of projects, often developed with a range of stakeholders of the social prescribing system across London, as a result of insights into challenges from those working on the frontline.  All aim to support the long-term, sustainable development of Social Prescribing, and the embedding of the three personalised care roles in London’s health system.   

Jump to section:

  1. Social Prescribing Innovators Programme launched September 2022
  2. London Social Prescribing Map
  3. London Social Prescribing Advocates Programme
  4. Community Chests for Social Prescribing
  5. Social Welfare Legal Advice and Social Prescribing

Browse projects

Social Prescribing Innovators Programme launched September 2022

  • The challenge: Social prescribing services face several challenges. These are often common across geographies and there is potential for innovative solutions to these to be shared and scaled. There is currently not a process to support and empower Social Prescribing Services to innovate against these challenges.
  • The solution: The new Social Prescribing Innovators Programme aims to support Social Prescribing services and individual Social Prescribing Link Workers across London to unblock the challenges they face in delivering social prescribing by testing and sharing innovative ways of working. This is a pilot programme, with funding up to £10k granted to individuals or groups from Social Prescribing services. Successful applicants will benefit from a 6-month programme of support between Oct 22- Feb 23 to help deliver projects against their specified ‘challenge’.

Next steps

12 successful projects from across London will make up the first cohort of SP Innovators!

    • Thank you to everyone who applied and to those who have expressed an interest in the programme.
    • The successful applicants will receive six months QI training, coaching and support, as well as a share of £120,000 in funding to find innovative solutions for using Social Prescribing to improve people’s health and wellbeing, whilst reducing pressure on the NHS.
    • The programme will run through to March 2023, with progress shared along the way. The final results will be made available across London and nationally.

Read more information about the programme and projects:

Application workshop on 7 July – watch the recording or view slides here:

London Social Prescribing Map

  • The opportunity: There is value in understanding how others are approaching the delivery of social prescribing across London, and crucial for an active network to have a facility to connect with each other.
  • The solution: Healthy London Partnership (HLP) will create, host and manage an online tool, in the form of a map, publishing local service models sharing how social prescribing is being delivered across London, as well as key SP contacts to enable a more active network and organic good practice sharing across London.

London Social Prescribing Advocates Programme   

  • The opportunity:  Social Prescribing is relatively new to most parts of the NHS, and as investment grows year on year, so does the workforce, the system designed to embed and develop SP as well as the maturity of the work.  SPLWs bring with them a rich breadth of skills and experience, and it is crucial there are facilities to ensure they are shaping this investment, development and support to ensure social prescribing is meaningful and thrives, and their insights are valued and heard.   
  • The solution: A community of SPLWs, that meet once a month to develop their skills as advocates of social prescribing and have an opportunity to shape pan London work related to the development and support of social prescribing. 

Community Chests for Social Prescribing 

  • The opportunity: Social Prescribing would not be possible without the activities and services the voluntary sector organises and delivers.  As people are referred to these services through social prescribing link works based in the health system, the VCSE sector faces an increase in referrals and complexity of needs of the people they are supporting, but rarely the funding to support this.  Messages about the lack of investment in voluntary and community-based support, meaning vital services are shut down, are continually reverberating, and a huge concern for those caring for the most vulnerable. There is a pressing need to find effective and efficient ways to target funding to the most deprived communities to prevent further deterioration and ultimately a greater burden on the health service.
  • The solution: There are some great examples of an NHS fund making grants available to voluntary sector organisations delivering key activities social prescribers can refer to.  These ‘community chests’ can be joint funded with the local authority and may support building the capacity of existing services or developing new activities that provide for unmet needs.  HLP are working with NEL ICS to pilot this work in London. The results will be developed into a set of case studies that share successful examples, details of coproduced pilot community chests, and a tool kit for areas wanting to develop something similar.

Read more information about Community Chests

 

 

  • The challenge: With finite investment in social welfare legal advice provision, there is a huge disparity in numbers of people needing support and receiving it.  Many PCNs operating in areas of particular deprivation, see the opportunity to upskill SPLWs in this arena of great value to the patients they are supporting. 
  • The solution:  As part of it’s Recovery Programme, the GLA are funding HLP and Bromley by Bow to deliver social welfare legal advice training for SPLWs across London, a series of events connecting SPLWs to pan London organisations and Robust Safety Net projects (also GLA funded) that can support their work with patients. There will also be funding and support for 5 sites to host a hybrid SWLA/ SPLW role.