Social Prescribing Network
What is Social Prescribing?
Social Prescribing is a means of enabling GPs and other frontline healthcare professionals to refer patients to a link worker. This provides them with a face-to-face conversation during which they can learn about opportunities to improve their health and wellbeing. People with social, emotional or practical needs are empowered to find and design their own personal solutions, i.e. ‘co-produce’ their ‘social prescription’, often using services provided by the voluntary and community sector. It is an innovative and growing movement, with the potential to reduce the financial burden on the NHS, particularly within primary care.
What is the Social Prescribing Network
The Social Prescribing Network consists of health professionals, researchers, academics, social prescribing practitioners, representatives from the community and voluntary sector, commissioners and funders, patients and citizens. We are working together to share knowledge and best practice, to support social prescribing at a local and national levels and to inform good quality research and evaluation. Over the past year we have been setting up regional networks around England and Ireland.
If you would like information on social prescribing schemes in your area, please contact the regional leads as listed below:
- North West - Lead by Jo Ward and Warren Escadale [email protected], [email protected]
- North East - North East - Lead by Jane Hartley [email protected]
- Yorkshire and Humber – Lead by David Cowan [email protected]
- Midlands - Lead by Jo Robins [email protected]
- South West - Lead by Dr. Richard Kimberlee [email protected]
- South East - Lead by Malcom Bray [email protected]
- East of England - Lead by Tim Anfilogoff and Sian Brand [email protected] and Sian Brand [email protected]
- London - Lead by Dan Hopewell and Marcello Bertotti [email protected], [email protected]
- Ireland - Co-chaired by Tony Dougherty (N Ireland) and David Robinson (ROI) - working as one network [email protected] or [email protected] as appropriate
Developing resources for the network
We have 2 key documents to help people commissioning, running and evaluating social prescribing schemes.
Making sense of social prescribing
This is a new document which covers various aspects including - What is social prescribing; why do social prescribing; what do different models look like; what makes a good link worker; what makes a good referral; governance and risk management; evaluation
- Download an interactive version of the PDF that allows you to go into weblinks and click between sections
- Download a PDF to print
A review of the evidence assessing impact of social prescribing to healthcare demand and cost implications
This piece of work has critically appraised the current data that is available on healthcare demand and social prescribing and cost implications. We hope that it will be of use to a range of stakeholders as you continue to write business cases and strategically plan to implement or scale up social prescribing.
News and events
Aesop Arts and Society 'National Arts in Health Conference and Showcase
Aesop Arts and Society 'National Arts in Health Conference and Showcase' is an event for health decision makers with a focus on how the arts can contribute to current health priorities. Taking place on the 19th of April at the at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, further information and tickets can be accessed here.
Our regional events continue to be a huge success with a great mix of people, energy and ideas. They also book up incredibly quickly. We aim to keep organising the events so we can share the learning from one region to the next. It is also helps us to hear what the challenges and issues are on the ground.
The events in England are a collaboration with NHS England who are very kindly supporting the cost of the venue and catering. The social prescribing network members then help to organise the events, the content and get the speakers (for free). The collaboration allows us to offer the events for free. So thank you to NHS England for continuing to work with us on this.
Both the Midlands and South West Regional meetings are fully booked. If you are no longer able to attend, please contact Phoebe Jones on [email protected] so we can utilise the space for our waiting list.
Midlands Regional Social Prescribing Network meeting
The Midlands Regional Social Prescribing Network meeting takes place in Birmingham on 1st February 2018.
South West Regional Social Prescribing Network
The South West Regional Social Prescribing Network meeting in collaboration with the Campaign to End Loneliness. This will be held on the 13th February, at the Watershed in Bristol.
Social Prescribing Network Ireland - save the date.
The next regional meeting will be in Dublin on Thursday, March 8th 2018 at the Mercer's Institute for Successful Ageing at St James' Hospital in Dublin. Times to be confirmed but it will likely be an all day event (from 10:30 to 3:30 or thereabouts).
Please email [email protected] to register your interest.
Social Prescribing Hour @SocialPresHour
You are invited to join a dedicated conversation to social prescribing on Twitter, every Wednesday, 8-9pm GMT. We currently have 600 followers that consist of CCGs, Clinical Leads for Social Prescribing, VCSEs and Housing Associations and LAs - discussing key themes, news and topics around social prescribing. The weekly @SocialPresHour will be hosted by a range of thought leaders throughout 2018.
Join the conversation every Wednesday 8-9pm. #socialpreshou
Social Prescribing Network newsletters
- June 2017
- April 2017
- March 2017
- February 2017
- January 2017
- 4 August 2016
- 1 July 2016
- 27 May 2016
- 13 May 2016
The first Social Prescribing conference
Our inaugural conference which took place at the Park Crescent Conference Centre in London in January 2016 was attended by 96 delegates representing a variety of stakeholders with experience of pioneering social prescribing in their local area. The conference was the first forum to bring this knowledge and expertise together from over the UK. The report from the conference was launched in the Houses of Parliament on 9 March 2016.
Following extensive discussions from the inaugural conference, here are some of the goals we are working towards:
- Expanding and consolidating the Social Prescribing Network, to drive local and national discussions on embedding social prescribing in the NHS
- Facilitating regional events to understand your experiences as well as how to better support members
- Translating the core principles of social prescribing into a framework for commissioning as well as standards to support quality of social prescribing delivered nationally
- Understanding the range of benefits of social prescribing, and working to develop better ways of researching and evaluating social prescribing
- Ensuring we have a process for ensuring patient and citizen involvement in all of our discussions
The steering committee
The members of the Steering Group are made up of a range of stakeholders.
- Dr Marie Polley, University of Westminster (Co-Chair)
- Dr Michael Dixon, College of Medicine (Co-Chair, National Clinical Social Prescribing Champion for NHS England)
- Tim Anfilogoff, Herts Valley CCG
- Dr Karen Pilkington, University of Portsmouth
- Professor Damien Ridge, University of Westminster
- Professor Chris Drinkwater, Ways to Wellness
- Dr James Fleming, The Green Dreams Project
- Ms Alyson McGregor, Altogether Better
- Dr Marcello Bertotti, University of East London
- Ms Caroline Frostick, University of East London
- Mr Dan Hopewell, Bromley by Bow Centre
- Dr Richard Kimberlee, University of the West of England
- Mr Lev Pedro, National Council for Voluntary Organisations
- Mrs. Bev Taylor, Social Prescribing Development Manager, NHS England
- Craig Lister, The Conservative Volunteers
- Debbie Taylor, Patient Representative, Creative Minds
- Jo Ward, Health Education England
- Sheinaz Stansfield, Practice Manager
If you join the Social Prescription Network we will add you to our mailing list for news and upcoming events. Please email us on [email protected].