Patient Outcomes in Health Research Group

Projects

Social Prescribing Network

social perscrbing 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 - to provide them with a face to face conversation during which they can learn about the possibilities and design their own personalised solutions, i.e. ‘co-produce’ their ‘social prescription’- so that people with social, emotional or practical needs are empowered to find solutions which will improve their health and wellbeing, 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 and particularly on 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: 

  • South West  - Lead: Dr. Richard Kimberlee 
  • South East  - Lead:  Malcom Bray
  • East of England - Lead by Tim Anfilogoff and Sian Brand
  • London – Lead by Dr. Marie Polley and Healthy London Partnerships

We are developing regional networks in the following places:

Developing resources for the network

We are currently undertaking a project funded by NHS England to develop resources to support the development and commissioning of social prescribing schemes. This includes

  • Mapping of social prescribing within STP plans - due April 2017
  • Toolkit for commissioners and people developing social prescribing schemes – due May 2017
  • Rapid scoping of social prescribing schemes with economic analysis – due early May 2017
  • Directory of current social prescribing schemes – due April 2017

News and events

Social Prescribing – From Rhetoric to Reality, national conference

  • 18 May 2017, in collaboration with The King’s Fund and NHS England. 
  • The King's Fund, 11-13 Cavendish Square, London, W1G 0AN
  • Full access tickets have sold out for our upcoming national conference. Limited access tickets are still available for access to the exhibition area and breakout sessions only. We will be live streaming the sessions from the main theatre into the exhibition area so you will be able to watch them there.

More info here

Midlands Social Prescribing Network Event

This free event will bring together people from health, research, local government and voluntary and community sectors to explore how social prescribing is being used eg. managing long-term conditions, reducing social isolation and improving mental health. We will support commissioners and practitioners to consider how social prescribing can be embedded in transformation work to improve health and wellbeing outcomes, reduce the pressure in general practice, as well impact on long-term acute system pressures. 

Social Prescription Network newsletters

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.

Download the report

What next?

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.

Contact us

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].

UoW wellcome trust and college of medicine logos

Catherine Hayhurst - Social Prescribing Network

Social Prescribing Network videos

A selection of short films to introduce social prescribing, what people think, who it can reach, and what is already happening.

social prescribing network conference

Steering committee

Read biographies for the Social Prescribing Network Steering Committee Group

Contact us

Staff contact information