‘Putting people at the centre of health care’
Home of the Social Prescribing Network
What is social prescribing?
Social prescribing is a means of enabling professionals (often healthcare practitioners) to refer their people to ‘link workers’ or ‘social prescribers’ who are specially trained to support people in identifying and designing their own personalised solutions to help with social, emotional or practical needs to improve their health and wellbeing. This often utilises voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise services such as choirs, gardening clubs, exercises classes, art groups and many more.
What is the Social Prescribing Network?
The Social Prescribing Network is a free network connecting people who are interested in social prescribing. They act as a central hub to connect many other social prescribing thought leaders, organisations, groups and networks to ensure that information, research and knowledge is shared as widely as possible.
They aim to provide an independent, holistic, objective, grassroots voice to drive innovations and best practice of social prescribing and to support the spread of social prescribing in the UK and internationally. The Social Prescribing Network also supports research applications and projects to recruit and disseminate research information.
What we are doing
We are constantly reviewing the work that we do and considering how we can continue to support social prescribing and ensure it is accessible to all who need it.
At the start of 2020, our collaboration with the Social Prescribing Network was further solidified when they made us their new home which has widened the possibilities of what we can achieve. You can sign up to receive monthly Social Prescribing Network newsletters and access the newsletter archive here.
We continue to support the National Social Prescribing Student Champion Scheme which was launched in 2019 with help from NHS England, and the Social Prescribing Network, enabling medical students from all over the UK to learn, teach, and to bring concepts such as Social Prescribing to life in their local region and into their future practice has been more successful than anyone hoped. The scheme has continued to grow thanks to some very passionate and proactive students and now hosts You can read more about the scheme and how you can get involved and support their work here.
What can you do?
Most health practitioners can add social prescribing to their work – at its simplest, it may just involve a couple of hours of research at the local library to see what useful things are happening in your local area.
Check out some of the resources available online or attend the latest Social Prescribing Network Conference. You can now book for the 4th International Social Prescribing Network Conference in March 2022 or submit an abstract.
More and more people are seeing the power of social prescribing, to see some examples of it in action, you can have a look at the Ways to Wellness case study whose aim was to reach 11,000 patients over seven years in a deprived area of Newcastle. Find out more about the innovative programme, and the people it helps. You can also view a variety of videos on social prescribing at Healthy London Partnership.
Get Involved with International Social Prescribing Day
Having first been held in 2019, this now annual event celebrates social prescribing across the UK and around the world. Held in March, keep an eye on the College of Medicine website for more details as they’re released nearer the time. If you are planning on hosting an event for International Social Prescribing Day 2022, get in touch with the Social Prescribing Network on email@example.com.
You can also keep up to date with social prescribing news, research, training courses, job opportunities, Social Prescribing Network conferences and Social Prescribing awards by signing up to the Social Prescribing Network newsletter.
The Social Prescribing Network is currently developing a new website that will provide a range of resources for people interested in social prescribing. This will include case studies, reports, evaluations and key documents for those working in social prescribing.
See a larger version of the graphic here.