A year ago, Elemental Software launched its Social Prescribing platform at the NHS Health and Care Innovation Expo in Manchester, England’s only major conference focused on innovation in health and social care.
Twelve months on, and the hot topic for 2017 at Expo was Social Prescribing, showing the growing recognition amongst health and social care leaders, commissioners and clinicians of its vital role in transforming communities and reducing health inequalities.
In its many shapes and forms, Social Prescribing was a thread that ran through the majority of sessions and discussions throughout the two-day event, as united voices called for and demonstrated the importance of service providers working better together and with communities so that they can make the changes that matter to them in their lives.
This was the Expo where new funding had now become available for Social Prescribing, following the announcement of the Department for Health’s Health and Wellbeing Fund as part of the VCSE Health and Wellbeing Programme, which for 2017/18 is themed around Social Prescribing.
The aim of the fund is to reduce health inequalities by building the evidence base around good practice in Social Prescribing, sharing lessons and expanding the use of Social Prescribing interventions.
This was also the Expo that Bev Taylor, Social Prescribing Development Manager for NHS England and Marie Polley, Co Chair of the Social Prescribing Network, shared ‘Making Sense of Social Prescribing’, a guide to new commissioners and existing professionals who are active in the social prescribing field.
Social Prescribing was highlighted further in the Mayor of Manchester’s, Andy Burnham’s, opening address.
He talked of the link between health and housing needing to be re-established and good health starting with communities. Afterwards, he met with us and spoke of his strong support for Social Prescribing and his connection with Derry, the test bed for Elemental’s Social Prescribing platform.
This too was the Expo where the compelling case for Social Prescribing was reinforced in the New Care Model session where Sir Sam Everington, Chair of Tower Hamlets Clinical Commissioning Group and National Advisor – New Models Programme, said that ‘20% of GPs in the UK now define themselves as Social Prescribing GPs’.
Fellow session panellist Paul Maubach, Lead for Dudley MCP Vanguard supported this by saying that ‘’Investing in Social Prescribing saves money. It has reduced people’s use of primary care in our area by 30%’.
And 12 months on from its launch, this was the Expo where Elemental Software was selected to be one of the UK’s top innovators, exhibiting as part of the Academic Health Science Network, which was recently cited as the NHS innovation arm.
Our second year at Expo saw us having very different conversations about Social Prescribing with over 100 delegates and speakers visiting our stand.
We noticed a significant shift from being asked last year ‘what exactly is Social Prescribing’, to ‘How can we make it easier to scale, measure and report on the impact of Social Prescribing’?
This was the Expo where Social Prescribing, and the impact that digital technology can make, had well and truly landed.
We were proud to have been part of such a great Expo with so many innovative ideas from so many parts of the NHS and the supplier community. We are so pleased our Social Prescribing platform was received so well and generated so much interest.
If you missed us at the Expo, or even caught us, but would like to know more – contact us now and we can arrange an opportunity to talk about how we can help you take Social Prescribing to the next level at https://elementalsoftware.co
Elemental – The Social Prescribing People