Elemental wins contract to help Welsh Universities track, measure and improve student health and wellbeing through digital social prescribing

OUR AWARD-WINNING SOCIAL PRESCRIBING SOFTWARE IS REVOLUTIONISING THE WAY STUDENTS IN HIGHER EDUCATION ACCESS WELLBEING SUPPORT BY DELIVERING A SUSTAINABLE AND REPLICABLE APPROACH TO TACKLING WELLBEING CHALLENGES GROUNDED IN SOCIAL PRESCRIBING.

There has never been a more important time for universities and Higher Education institutions to introduce a digital solution to the social prescribing needs of their students. A survey carried out by the National Union of Students (NUS) more than 50% of students say their mental health has declined since the Covid-19 pandemic began.  

By embedding Elemental’s digital social prescribing platform into Student Wellbeing and Inclusion Programmes, universities and colleges can now connect students with non-clinical services within and beyond the institutions to support a range of issues that impact on student health and wellbeing needs. This means that students will have access to a whole system approach to well-being, while also empowering them to take control of their health. 

THIS DIGITAL SOCIAL PRESCRIBING SOLUTION WILL LAY THE FOUNDATIONS FOR A TRANSFERABLE MODEL THAT WILL ALLOW UNIVERSITIES TO:

Co-create and establish a student-led social prescribing model in a HE (Higher Education) setting which connects with local communities, statutory partners, and FE (Further Education) colleges.

  • Map university and community assets to support the social prescribing model and to improve the wellbeing of students and people in the local community
  • Identify and assess the nature of the links and relationships between non-clinical providers in order to understand what ‘whole system change’ may be needed in order to drive future funding and policy.   
  • Create Wellbeing Hubs in which the role of Student Care Navigator will be developed. There will be the opportunity for Student Care Navigators to undertake the Social Prescribing Certificates and gain first-hand experience of how to put knowledge into practice.
  • Identify how to monitor the impact of the model on students and assess the nature of the links and relationships between non-clinical providers in order to understand what ‘whole system change’ may be needed in order to drive future funding and policy.   
  • Establish ways in which the co-created model can be made sustainable over time 
  • To conduct a robust evaluation to understand how, why, for whom (e.g. students, staff, stakeholders) and to what extent (impact) it works, so that learning can be translated to other HE organisations. Therefore, delivering a framework of transferable principles and lessons learned for use by other institutions.
WREXHAM GLYNDWR UNIVERSITY LEAD THE WAY IN DELIVERING A WHOLE SYSTEM APPROACH TO STUDENT WELL-BEING

In a bid to enhance student wellbeing, build resilience, and promote new ways of working using social prescribing, Wrexham Glyndwr University and the University of South Wales (USW) have partnered with Elemental.  

The project, which is the first of its kind in higher education, will transform the way Wrexham Glyndwr University works in partnership to promote and deliver wellbeing for students, based on best practice from successful Social Prescribing projects in North Wales, such as the 2025 Movement in which WGU is a partner. This project has been funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW), which is committed to supporting the University to focus on programmes and activities that support and improve student wellbeing.

Project partner, USW, is leading on the evaluation of the Wrexham Glyndwr University social prescribing model and asks what works for whom and in what context? Using Elemental to track and measure referrals as part of the evaluation will enable USW to understand impact on student wellbeing and deliver a strong and rigorous evidence base of research to drive change and create principles that will be transferred to the USW and, potentially, later across the higher education sector in Wales. 

The project is already beginning to see improvements in the ability to identify and provide support for students in need. Elemental’s elearning academy has provided 181 members of the Wrexham Glyndwr University team with the training needed to go live on the platform and make, manage and report on referrals while also providing support.  

The early successes of the introduction of social prescribing are clear to see as 301 students are now registered in Elemental, with 422 associated prescriptions. Out of the 422 prescriptions, 306 were self-referrals through the Student Desk, showing how students are willing to take initiative and engage with the platform.  

Overall the project work is aligned to and embedded within the vision and mission of the university and to regional and national priorities for Wales. 

The programmes and services are also being made available to the wider community and will play a key role in improving the holistic health of the local community. 

Partnerships with ICAN, 2025 Movement, Do-Well, and USW will help establish a standardised approach to social prescribing, both within higher education and throughout Wales.

BY EMBEDDING ELEMENTAL INTO STUDENT WELLBEING PROGRAMMES, EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS CAN:

Connect students with non-clinical services within and beyond the university to support a range of health and wellbeing needs.

  • Allow students to self-refer into community support via Elemental’s website module.
  • Embed a clear referral pathway and provide support when needed.
  • Offer referrals to services via chaplains, personal tutors, counsellors, housing, health, funding, and inclusion officers.
  • Measure and report on the impact of the Student Wellbeing programmes.
  • Reduce avoidable GP appointments and NHS escalations, saving time, cost, and resources.
  • Produce a sustainable social prescribing model addressing the identified wellbeing needs of all students.
  • Easily manage everything from within Elemental’s digital social prescribing platform, meaning a seamless and simplified user journey..

“We’re really excited about this partnership with Wrexham Glyndwr University because they have recognised the power of social prescribing and how the model can be transferred effectively into an educational setting. Students are now more vulnerable than ever given the current pandemic and uncertainty around typical University life, so it’s commendable to see that Wrexham Glyndwr University has recognised this and gone one step further in order to offer wraparound support for their students. We are delighted that the impacts of this groundbreaking project will help inform research by the University of South Wales so that the model can be replicated across the HEI sector in Wales.” – Jennifer Neff, Elemental Co-Founder, and CEO, Elemental Software