This guidance outlines an approach for NHS commissioners and senior managers to introduce a social prescribing champion model – one that may be supported by a digital platform, to enhance your local social prescribing offer. The guidance is also aimed at those directly in charge of implementation and delivery of a social prescribing service from both statutory services and voluntary providers.
Social prescribing is gathering momentum
Social prescribing is seen as an important function not only in keeping people physically and mentally well, but also as part of the wider prevention strategy. Social prescribing is a way to support our communities, helping people to look after one another by considering all determinants of being and staying well. However, it is no easy challenge.
Supporting patients with social prescribing champions
This guidance is produced from the learning gained from a pilot project in two boroughs in South West London: Merton and Wandsworth. In collaboration with the Health Innovation Network, Merton CCG and Wandsworth CCG and the relevant local authorities, we developed this guide to explain how to use champions – such as volunteers and non-clinical GP staff – to enhance a community connector or link worker social prescribing scheme.
It shows how patients can be supported by both social prescribing link workers and champions, who have been referred by their local GP practice, in order to help them address any non-medical problems that may be having a negative impact on their lives and overall wellbeing.
- Section 1 sets out information to help understand whether a social prescribing champion model is right for your locality
- Section 2 sets out information for how to develop a social prescribing champion model; how it adds support to the workforce and how to train people to become champions
- Section 3 sets out things to consider when choosing a digital platform, such as an online, searchable directory of services, to help champions and link workers to refer people to local services and activities
- Section 4 sets out the model of care that was piloted in Merton and Wandsworth London boroughs
- Section 5 includes tops tips and links to handy resources, including the social prescribing champion training course that was developed through this project
- An evaluation report is also available with data about utilisation of the social prescribing champion model and feedback from key stakeholders and participants during the 18 month delivery of the project.