Our International Centre has played a key role in developing social prescribing as an evidence-informed model of personalised care for people with non-medical needs in the UK and beyond. Many citizens face complex issues which are related to the wider social determinants of health and therefore impact on their health and wellbeing. Through strategic and concerted collaboration, our International Centre now supports NHS England and other health systems to develop and roll out social prescribing. Amongst other things, our Centre:
- Provides training - including short-courses – on a range of issues related to social prescribing
- Delivers world leading conferences on social prescribing
- Conducts research and evaluation to support the development and sharing of the social prescribing evidence base Internationally
- Shares research, resources, news and key messages in the social prescribing field.
- Has developed an International Alliance for Social Prescribing which includes agreement from representatives in 14 countries to work together to promote and implement social prescribing internationally.
- Contributes to social prescribing days (first was on 14th March 2019)
- Is developing a Student Social Prescribing Network to increase the knowledge, employability, inclusiveness and compassion in our student population.
- Is developing a companion MSc for social prescribing
What is social prescribing?
Social Prescribing is a means of enabling GPs and a wide range of other local agencies including local authorities, pharmacies, allied health professionals, fire service, police, social care services and others to refer patients to a non-clinical services aimed at improving their condition. Patients talk to a “link worker” or ‘navigator”- to provide them with a face to face conversation during which they can learn about what non-clinical services are available and design their own personalised solutions (their ‘social prescription’). The aim is 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 model of care, with the potential to both improve health and wellbeing and to reduce the financial burden on the NHS and particularly on primary care.