East London housing association, Poplar HARCA has formed a new partnership with tech for good company, Elemental Software. The partnership which aims to launch a new approach to health and well-being for its residents will use social prescribing technology to reduce health inequalities and relieve pressure on GPs.
Poplar HARCA runs a network of community centres located in each of its 12 estates which serves as vital hubs for local residents. As part of its commitment to creating healthy, vibrant communities, the innovative housing association is now working with social prescribing specialists, Elemental to ensure that social prescribing is at the core of these centres. By using the Elemental platform, Social Prescribers within Poplar HARCA will make direct referrals tailored to the needs of individual residents and have the ability to monitor and track the impact of the referral.
The project will be piloted initially at Poplar HARCA’s St Paul’s Way Centre which includes a wide range of facilities including a full IT suite and multi-purpose hall for hosting different projects and community events.
Babu Bhattacherjee, Director of Communities and Neighbourhoods at Poplar HARCA, said: “We’ve always prided ourselves on being a housing association that seeks to improve the quality of life of our residents by strengthening both the physical and social infrastructure locally.
“We are now planning to refocus a significant amount of our resources towards improving the health and well-being of local people and we have put together an exciting cross-sector partnership to make that happen. A holistic approach will undoubtedly be needed and Elemental will not only make the process significantly more efficient, it will also give us the evidence needed to prove that we’re making a real difference.”
Jennifer Neff, Co-Founder of Elemental Software, said: “Social prescribing is increasingly becoming recognised as the way forward in delivering real and lasting health improvements in communities, and a key part of the Government’s consultation on the London Health Inequalities Strategy. Poplar HARCA is leading the way in the housing sector by restructuring its resources to put social prescribing at the forefront of its work. We are delighted to be working with such an innovative and forward-looking team and we are confident that our digital social prescribing platform will play an important part in supporting staff to quickly and easily create social prescriptions and monitor the real impact that this work has on people’s’ lives.”
Elemental Software was set up by co-founders Leeann and Jennifer Neff last year, following 15 years of experience as community development workers in Derry, Northern Ireland. The need to better connect stakeholders to support those most at risk inspired them to commit to ending all health inequalities and develop a social prescribing platform that helps to scale and measure the impact of social prescribing projects.
The cloud-based platform connects health and social professionals, social prescribers, patients and providers of community based programmes and services to provide commissioners with the freedom and flexibility to shape social prescribing initiatives based on the needs of their residents and community infrastructure.
Since launching, Elemental now works across health, housing and community organisations to advise on the development of social prescribing programmes and embed their unique technology which enables organisations to better connect, support, measure and evaluate social prescribing activities in their local areas.
To highlight the impact that housing has on reducing health inequalities, Elemental Software will host a Social Prescribing Hour on Wednesday 22nd November, 8-9pm GMT Twitter Hour this Wednesday November 22nd, 8-9pm GMT. To get involved, follow @SocialPresHour and search #socialpreshour.