What is Social Prescribing?

Social prescribing enables health and social care professionals, community development workers and others to refer someone to a Social Prescribing Link Worker to talk about the issues they’re facing and what matters to them to find the right services to support and empower them.

What is Social Prescribing?

Social prescribing enables health and social care professionals, community development workers and others to refer someone to a Social Prescribing Link Worker to talk about the issues they’re facing and what matters to them to find the right services to support and empower them.

Social prescribing is not a new concept. It’s been around for years, with many people describing it as the community development approach to health and wellbeing.

What’s special about it is the Link Workers who work support people with a wide range of social, emotional or practical needs.

Link Workers help address people’s needs across a number of areas such as physical activity, diet and nutrition, housing, mental health and social support. It is often referred to as a ‘more than medicine’ approach to health and wellbeing, based on the fact that the majority of long-term conditions can be prevented by lifestyle change alone.

Social prescribing is a growing movement that connects people with a range of non clinical programmes, services and events in their local community – like walking groups, mental health counseling, debt management advice, employability skills, volunteering, family fitness, healthy cooking programmes, mindfulness sessions, and the ‘green prescription’ of gardening and food growing.

What is social prescribing?

Benefits for People:

  • Supports people with a wide range of social, emotional or practical needs.
  • Improves physical and mental wellbeing by focussing on what matters to the individual.
  • Creates connections with community assets and community members.
  • Allows individuals to co-create their own enriched, personalised care pathway.
  • Focuses on those most likely to benefit from social prescribing e.g. people with mild or long-term mental health problems, vulnerable groups, people who are socially isolated, and those who frequently attend either primary or secondary health care.

Benefits for health, housing, education, employment and local government professionals:

  • Ensures a person led approach that focuses on the whole person
  • Strengthens relationships and promotes cross-sectoral cohesion.
  • Reduces the use of NHS services and contributes to a range of broader government objectives, for example in relation to employment, volunteering and learning.
  • Relieves pressure on GPs and gives them  ‘more than medicine’ options.
  • Can demonstrate return on investment and social value.
  • Develops the capacity of health and wellbeing professionals and others across multiple sites by reducing administrative tasks and freeing up more time to support citizens.

Benefits for VCSE Providers:

  • Provides options for Link Workers and facilitates ease of referral both within and beyond the VCSE sector.
  • Creates effective practice and successful partnership models and promotes cross sectoral cohesion.
  • Addresses the social determinants of health and serves the entire community with a high quality range of social assets.
  • Can evidence success and provide suitable outcomes to help prove the case for levering in additional funding.
  • Locally focussed and driven towards addressing the needs of individuals through accessible activities and programmes.

Social Prescribing News & Insights

We’re busy collaborating and shining a light on social prescribing
World Health Day

World Health Day 2022

World Health Day Improving the health and wellbeing of communities is at the heart of why Elemental exists. Of course we want to ensure our...