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Social prescribing is an approach in which health practitioners use local social resources to prescribe beyond the biomedical – for example, signposting a patient to a local exercise class might address both social connectedness and weight or health issues.
What we are doing
Thanks to a collaboration between the College of Medicine, the University of Westminster and the Wellcome Trust, a Social Prescribing Network has now been established. You can read the latest newsletters here.
We are in touch with some practices running very evolved social prescribing programmes, such as College Council member Dr James Fleming’s Green Dreams programme.
We have also established a National Social Prescribing Student Champion Scheme with help from NHS England, 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. Read more about the scheme and how you can get involved and support our work here.
New: Report exploring the need to formally embed Social Prescribing teaching within the national undergraduate medical school curriculum. Read more here.
What you can do
But most health practitioners can add social prescribing to their work – at its simplest, it may just involve a couple of hours research at the local library to see what useful things are happening in your local area.
Attend The King’s Fund event: Social Prescribing: coming of age
Attend this event to hear from local areas around the country who have implemented social prescribing models and can report on their learning and outcomes and provide practical resources for commissioners, clinicians and voluntary and community organisations looking to adopt and implement social prescribing in their own locality.
Find out more by clicking here.
Take part in the National Social Prescribing student champion scheme
Take our social prescribing challenge
Case study: Ways to Wellness
Ways to Wellness aims 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.
Aesop/Public Health England Arts & Health framework
Useful guidance for practitioners doing arts work towards health outcomes. Read the Aesop/PHE document here.
You can read about Aesop’s work on Dance to Health, which prevents falls among older people here.