One in five GP appointments focus on wider social needs, rather than acute medical issues. In areas of high deprivation, many GPs report they spend significant time dealing with the consequences of poor housing, debt, stress, loneliness, and physical inactivity. Traditional health interventions are not the most appropriate or effective response for supporting people in these circumstances.
Social prescribing presents the NHS and local authorities with an opportunity to help people make use of existing community services, resources and facilities which can help them manage or overcome these social factors.
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- What is social prescribing?
- Social prescribing: Transforming health for London
- Social Prescribing Link Workers and Managers’ Resources
What is social prescribing?
Social prescribing and community-based support is part of the NHS Long Term Plan’s commitment to make personalised care business as usual across the health and care system and to bring additional capacity into the multi-disciplinary team within Primary Care Networks.
This aims to reduce pressure on clinicians, improve people’s lives through improved and timely access to health services, strengthen community resilience, reduce health inequalities, and meet the needs of our diverse and multi-cultural communities.
By increasing people’s active involvement with their local communities and finding the right support, they can feel more empowered to take control of their lives.
Social Prescribing: Transforming Health for London
Social Prescribing Link Workers (SPLWs) are a key part of the multidisciplinary team within primary care networks (PCN).
SPLWs can provide more time and focus on ‘what matters to me’ and take a holistic approach to an individual’s health and wellbeing, empowering them to have more control.
By developing supportive relationships with local, voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations, culturally appropriate community groups and statutory services, SPLWs are able to make timely, appropriate and supported referrals for individuals who may need practical and emotional support. This is especially so for people with long term conditions, people who are lonely or isolated, or have complex social needs which affect their wellbeing.
Referrals to SPLWs can be made from a wide range of agencies, including pharmacies, wider multi-disciplinary teams, hospital discharge teams, allied health professionals, fire service, police, job centres, social care services, housing associations, and VCSE organisations.
Social Prescribing Link Workers and Managers’ Resources
If you are a SPLW or Social Prescribing Manager, here you will find a wide range of information, resources and support available to you.
- Social Prescribing Link Workers
- Care Coordinators (coming soon)
- Health and Wellbeing Coaches and Managers (coming soon)
- SP Regional Learning Coordinator
- Regional PCN Advisor for Social Prescribing & Health Inequalities
- Regional Care Coordinator Mentor for London
- Regional Health and Wellbeing Coach Mentor for London.