Changing the conversation about health

Social prescribing

BEYOND PILLS CAMPAIGN: How the South West’s pain cafes are helping chronic pain sufferers – without drugs
BEYOND PILLS CAMPAIGN: How the South West’s pain cafes are helping chronic pain sufferers – without drugs

BEYOND PILLS CAMPAIGN: How the South West’s pain cafes are helping chronic pain sufferers – without drugs

Our latest Beyond Pills Campaign article looks at how an initiative in the South West is helping chronic pain sufferers find respite using a range of different strategies… Instead of reaching for a bottle of painkillers, chronic pain sufferers in…

BEYOND PILLS CAMPAIGN: Exercise should be a core treatment for depression, research suggests
BEYOND PILLS CAMPAIGN: Exercise should be a core treatment for depression, research suggests

BEYOND PILLS CAMPAIGN: Exercise should be a core treatment for depression, research suggests

An evidence review of the benefits of exercise for depression, published in the BMJ, found that some types of exercise proved more effective than psychotherapy and antidepressants, writes Sarah Stacey. Latest NHS figures show that 8.6 million people in England…

West London GP on New Year Honours List says: ‘We need to address the wider determinants on health’
West London GP on New Year Honours List says: ‘We need to address the wider determinants on health’

West London GP on New Year Honours List says: ‘We need to address the wider determinants on health’

An influential West London GP who made the New Year Honours List for her work on social inclusion, mental health and homeless health has told The College of Medicine that ‘health is much more than the absence of illness’. Dr…

New book examines relationship between healing and medicine
New book examines relationship between healing and medicine

New book examines relationship between healing and medicine

The College of Medicine’s Chair Dr Michael Dixon has praised a new book that examines in depth the relationship between healing and medicine. A Doctor’s Journey Toward Their Integration is by Bristol-based Professor Paul Dieppe, an academic physician who changed…

Walk yourself happy: How nature helped TV presenter Julia Bradbury’s recovery from cancer
Walk yourself happy: How nature helped TV presenter Julia Bradbury’s recovery from cancer

Walk yourself happy: How nature helped TV presenter Julia Bradbury’s recovery from cancer

Getting outside, into nature offers so much for the mind, body and soul – it can boost your immune system, lift your spirits and speed up your recovery. It’s not a new phenomenon – the healing power of nature has…

Beyond Pills All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) launches to stop over-prescribing
Beyond Pills All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) launches to stop over-prescribing

Beyond Pills All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) launches to stop over-prescribing

Back in June 2022, the College of Medicine launched the Beyond Pills Campaign – calling for urgent Government intervention on over- prescribing in the NHS. The Campaign was established in the wake of the Government’s National Overprescribing Review, published in…

World Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Awareness Week: Access the TARGET toolkit
World Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Awareness Week: Access the TARGET toolkit

World Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Awareness Week: Access the TARGET toolkit

The third week in November marks World Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Awareness Week, a global annual campaign to improve awareness and understanding of Antimicrobial Resistance amongst patients and healthcare professionals. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared AMR one of the…

Barnardo’s urges government to invest in social prescribing to help mental health of young people
Barnardo’s urges government to invest in social prescribing to help mental health of young people

Barnardo’s urges government to invest in social prescribing to help mental health of young people

Social prescribing could help young people suffering with mental health problems, new research says. Children’s charity Barnardo’s says referrals for non-clinical treatments could help to ease current pressure on child and adolescent mental health services (Camhs) and help young patients…

Dr Michael Dixon, our chair, says paper written on Integrated approach to health by King Charles III in 2012 was ‘ahead of its time’
Dr Michael Dixon, our chair, says paper written on Integrated approach to health by King Charles III in 2012 was ‘ahead of its time’

Dr Michael Dixon, our chair, says paper written on Integrated approach to health by King Charles III in 2012 was ‘ahead of its time’

The College of Medicine’s Chair, Dr Michael Dixon, has praised a paper written by our patron, King Charles III, in 2012 on Integrated Health as ‘forward thinking’ and has invited our members to re-read it. The paper, entitled ‘Integrated health…

Nine holes for health? Social prescribing pilot offering free golf proves a big hit in Scotland
Nine holes for health? Social prescribing pilot offering free golf proves a big hit in Scotland

Nine holes for health? Social prescribing pilot offering free golf proves a big hit in Scotland

Social prescribing comes in many forms, as a pilot scheme offering games of golf to help boost health and wellbeing has proved. The Golf for Health pilot took place recently in Fife, Scotland and saw patients with varying health conditions…

‘Getting research money for plant medicine is extremely difficult’: Simon Mills in conversation with herbalist Michael McIntyre
‘Getting research money for plant medicine is extremely difficult’: Simon Mills in conversation with herbalist Michael McIntyre

‘Getting research money for plant medicine is extremely difficult’: Simon Mills in conversation with herbalist Michael McIntyre

The College of Medicine’s Self Care Lead, Simon Mills, first encountered herbalist and acupuncturist Michael McIntyre around 45 years ago as the pair met as practitioners trying to drive forward plant medicine in the UK. In 2022, the College of…

Beyond Pills Campaign: Actress Jenny Seagrove tells IPM Congress 2023 how ‘polypharmacy’ negatively impacted her mother’s health
Beyond Pills Campaign: Actress Jenny Seagrove tells IPM Congress 2023 how ‘polypharmacy’ negatively impacted her mother’s health

Beyond Pills Campaign: Actress Jenny Seagrove tells IPM Congress 2023 how ‘polypharmacy’ negatively impacted her mother’s health

Actress Jenny Seagrove told audience members at the Integrative & Personalised Medicine conference 2023 in London last week that her own approach to health was radically impacted by watching her mother being prescribed ‘pills, pills and more pills’ when she…

Announcement: Dr Michael Dixon announces retirement as Co-Chair of the Social Prescribing Network
Announcement: Dr Michael Dixon announces retirement as Co-Chair of the Social Prescribing Network

Announcement: Dr Michael Dixon announces retirement as Co-Chair of the Social Prescribing Network

The College of Medicine’s Chair, Dr Michael Dixon, has announced he is leaving the Social Prescribing Network, after co-founding the organisation in 2015. Current Co-Chair Sian Brand announced the news, saying Dr Dixon had been the SPN’s ‘constant’ over the…

Chair’s newsletter: What’s ahead for The College of Medicine?
Chair’s newsletter: What’s ahead for The College of Medicine?

Chair’s newsletter: What’s ahead for The College of Medicine?

Dr Michael Dixon, The College of Medicine Chair, reveals a busy summer calendar in his latest address… “Our cold spring is struggling to get to summer but we can look forward to warmer days with the Coronation of our Patron,…

‘Loneliness is as bad for our health as 15 cigarettes a day’, says US Surgeon General
‘Loneliness is as bad for our health as 15 cigarettes a day’, says US Surgeon General

‘Loneliness is as bad for our health as 15 cigarettes a day’, says US Surgeon General

Social isolation can be as damaging for health as a smoking habit, a top US health official has warned, saying loneliness can potentially hasten death by nearly 30 per cent. Speaking to BBC News, Vivek Murthy, Surgeon General, said that…

Beyond Pills Campaign: Dr William Bird on the impact Green Social Prescribing can have
Beyond Pills Campaign: Dr William Bird on the impact Green Social Prescribing can have

Beyond Pills Campaign: Dr William Bird on the impact Green Social Prescribing can have

Reading GP Dr William Bird, the College of Medicine’s Nature Lead and a pioneer of Green Social Prescribing, talks to Sarah Stacey about the healing power of nature for every age group… Think of the shapes, colours and sounds of…

Blog: How arts and creativity can help young people deal with difficult transitions
Blog: How arts and creativity can help young people deal with difficult transitions

Blog: How arts and creativity can help young people deal with difficult transitions

This week, Professor Chris Drinkwater, Executive Lead for Arts and Creativity at the North East & North Cumbria Child Health and Wellbeing Network, wrote a blog for theatre company Damn Cheek on the benefits of drama for helping children to cope…

WATCH: A College of Medicine Young Fellow, Hamaad Khan, addresses students on Social Prescribing for the future
WATCH: A College of Medicine Young Fellow, Hamaad Khan, addresses students on Social Prescribing for the future

WATCH: A College of Medicine Young Fellow, Hamaad Khan, addresses students on Social Prescribing for the future

One of The College of Medicine’s Young Fellows, Hamaad Khan, delivered a powerful speech to students on Social Prescribing Day 2023, which took place on March 9th, about how Social Prescribing is vital to the future success of the NHS.…

‘Social Prescribing can change lives – and the Government is backing it with money’, says Health Secretary
‘Social Prescribing can change lives – and the Government is backing it with money’, says Health Secretary

‘Social Prescribing can change lives – and the Government is backing it with money’, says Health Secretary

The UK minister for Health and Social Care, Steve Barclay, has said the Government is committed to Social Prescribing, following last week’s Social Prescribing Day, saying funding of £3.6million will be poured into it over the next two years. Writing…

EXCLUSIVE: NHS Prescribing Director Professor Tony Avery on why unnecessary prescribing must stop – for the sake of both patients and our healthcare system
EXCLUSIVE: NHS Prescribing Director Professor Tony Avery on why unnecessary prescribing must stop – for the sake of both patients and our healthcare system

EXCLUSIVE: NHS Prescribing Director Professor Tony Avery on why unnecessary prescribing must stop – for the sake of both patients and our healthcare system

To mark Social Prescribing Day 2023, Professor Tony Avery OBE, GP and National Clinical Director for Prescribing at NHS England, writes for The College of Medicine on the system approaches needed to optimise medicines to better care for people living…

‘NHS launches healthcare revolution to ditch drugs’: Beyond Pills Campaign features in The Sunday Express
‘NHS launches healthcare revolution to ditch drugs’: Beyond Pills Campaign features in The Sunday Express

‘NHS launches healthcare revolution to ditch drugs’: Beyond Pills Campaign features in The Sunday Express

Social prescribing and The College of Medicine’s Beyond Pills Campaign made the headlines this weekend, with a detailed article in The Sunday Express highlighting our call for urgent reform on unnecessary prescribing within the current healthcare system. The article, written…

Beyond Pills Campaign: BMJ article examines how use of medicine for treating chronic pain is changing
Beyond Pills Campaign: BMJ article examines how use of medicine for treating chronic pain is changing

Beyond Pills Campaign: BMJ article examines how use of medicine for treating chronic pain is changing

An article in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) this month debates how recent research on the treatment of chronic pain suggests social prescribing – including exercise and psychological and social support – could have a positive impact for patients living…