Social Prescribing links patients through healthcare to sources of support within the community. It provides a non–clinical referral option and may be described as connecting people with health and wellbeing activities that improve both their physical and mental health. For example, if someone was socially isolated, a social group such as a craft group or weekly coffee morning might improve their mood and wellbeing. Another example might be someone identifying specific goals such as weight loss but requiring some support in order to access walking groups or gym sessions.
This approach recognises that people’s health is determined by a range of social, economic and environmental factors and seeks to look at the whole person. It also aims to support individuals to take greater control of their own health.
Social prescribing is designed to support people with a wide range of social, emotional or practical needs, and many schemes are focussed on improving mental health and physical well-being. Those who could benefit from social prescribing schemes include people with mild or long-term mental health problems, those with long-term conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis or Diabetes, vulnerable groups, people who are socially isolated, and those who frequently attend either primary or secondary health care.
You don’t need a community prescription to start trying new things. You can find lots of different events and activities here on Information NOW. Look at our Leisure and Lifestyle or Health as well as Housing and Disability categories.
Social prescribing has a growing evidence base to show its value; patients report better outcomes while health care professionals feel they can offer patients more in order to reach the best outcome.
Across Newcastle and Gateshead a range of different social prescription models are available via your GP. These include Ways to Wellness in West Newcastle which can offer a tailor made service to individuals and Primary Care Navigators who can signpost and support patients to access voluntary and community sector services. Age UK Newcastle also have an Advice and Support Worker who helps with support planning.
For further information on social prescribing speak to your General Practice.
Last updated: February 12, 2018