Healthy Living Centre Social Prescribing Programme Goes Digital

Healthy Living Centre Social Prescribing Programme Goes Digital

    Funded by the Public Health Agency, this project is a collaboration between tech for good company Elemental Software, Bogside and Brandywell Health Forum and 15 Healthy Living Centres throughout the North of Ireland. Over a two year period, 28,000 people will engage in the largest social prescribing programme in Northern Ireland using Elemental Software.

    The programme will bridge the gap between community development and digital technology to help communities increase access and engage in physical activity, diet, nutrition and mental health support within their local areas.

    The Challenge

    There are currently 22 Healthy Living Centres supported by the HLC Alliance across Northern Ireland, which operate under the 6 core themes set by the ‘Making Life Better’ 2012–2023 strategic framework report. Whilst HLCs share a common aim of helping communities to help themselves, the value of the HLC model is that no HLC is the same. They are based on true community development principles, where each community sets their own health agenda in order to achieve the best health outcomes for the people in their communities. The HLC Alliance now require the analytics to evaluate the effectiveness of the models of care and the programmes and services that exist within.

    The Solution

    Healthy Living Centres wanted to be more precise in ensuring that the most at risk are engaged and activated in improving their health outcomes. There was a commitment from the HLC Alliance to adapt the culture and ecosystem within HLCs to embrace digital technology to scale and measure the work that they are already doing.

     Elemental facilitated this by:

    • Enabling GPs to directly connect people with their local Healthy Living Centres 
    • Empowering Social Prescribing Coordinators within HLCs to co-create health risk prevention plans with communities and increase engagement in HLC’s health and wellness programmes
    • Providing a platform to measure and report on the health risk reduction of those engaged in social prescribing


    • The outputs of this project include improved health and well-being in communities across Northern Ireland
    • The clients will have access to the programmes and services that exist to address the needs of the community via the social prescriptions
    • Health professionals will be more connected to the patients and the software will allow for efficient and effective referrals
    • The Healthy Living Centre alliance will have the analytics to evaluate the effectiveness of the models of care an report on ongoing improvements in service delivery in the community


    “What excites me most about this partnership is the ability to enable members of the community to self-refer. We are seeing a change in the mindset of late where the community is demanding social prescriptions as alternatives to medication and the development of mental and physical health conditions. For the first time, we will have the analytics to assess the effectiveness of each referral we receive and generate across the HLC Alliance”.

    Tony Doherty, HLC Alliance’s Regional Coordinator

    “It’s fantastic to work in partnership with the vibrant and innovative staff at the BBHF. They are at the forefront of engaging with the local community to improve health outcomes and they understand the benefits of having Elemental Software’s platform to enhance their processes”.

    Denise Dillion, Elemental Project Manager

    Project Details

    Date 23rd October 2017