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.
Interest in the concept has rapidly expanded over the past decade with the implementation of a variety of models currently being supported by the use of a number of digital platforms aimed to scale and measure social prescribing in communities most in need.
It seeks to address people’s needs across a number of areas such as physical activity, diet and nutrition, 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.
We’re the social prescribing platform of choice across health, housing, community and local authority in the UK and Ireland. Over 300 GPs, Community Officers and Neighbourhood Coaches are now able to make and manage safe and easy referrals. And that’s not all, measurement and reporting features mean it’s now even easier to report on the effectiveness of social prescribing in your community.
Entitled “Prevention is better than cure”, Matt Hancock’s Prevention Strategy emphasises preventative healthcare and highlights a shift towards community care services and the value they can bring in offering early support. We’re fully behind this bid to empower patients as this is one of the main reasons we designed Elemental Self Refer , a tool that allows anyone to refer themselves directly to a Community Connector or into quality assured social prescribing activities.
We’re being asked more and more to help inform the scaling and future of social prescribing. We’ve been working with Finland to help with their health and social care reform and were brought on board to help the Mayor of London create his vision for social prescribing just before the summer. The Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, also chose us to help the West Midlands become a place where health and innovation benefit vulnerable communities.
The Digital Maturity Index for Social Prescribing is designed to show the levels of maturity that exists and can be achieved through the use of digital and information technology to support Social Prescribing. Our DMI (Digital Maturity Index) Tool allows you to assess where your social prescribing programme is and the next steps to progressing up the scale.