People are living longer and as they get older, developing long term health conditions. Health can be affected by a wide range of factors including employment, housing, debt, social isolation and culture.
Social prescribing gives the NHS and local authorities an opportunity to help people make use of existing community services, resources and facilities so they can manage or overcome some of these problems.
In London, all five health and care partnerships have committed to using social prescribing services. The evidence shows that it helps people get the right help at the right place, and reduces unnecessary GP appointments and A&E attendances.
Healthy London Partnership recently visited Southgate Medical Group, one of three GP surgeries in Crawley currently taking part in a successful social prescribing pilot. We wanted to learn more about their local way of working in order to share this knowledge with other areas interested in social prescribing.
We spoke with staff at Southgate Medical Group about the ‘Prescription Plus – community connections for a healthier me’ service. They developed a menu of local services in partnership with the local voluntary and community sector and explained how the referral process works in practice, the key ingredients of the link worker role and what the benefits are for patients.
These films offer practical advice and guidance for CCGs, commissioners and anyone looking to learn more about how social prescribing could work in their communities.
Healthy London Partnership and the Greater London Authority are currently working with a range of partners including the Social Prescribing Network, NHS organisations, GP Practices, local authorities and third sector bodies across the capital to co-design a Social Prescribing Strategy for London. This will build on the good practice that is already established and growing across the capital. The Strategy is due to be launched in Autumn 2018.
For further information about our work please contact a member of the Proactive Care Team at firstname.lastname@example.org