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Research – social prescribing

All Wales Social Prescribing Research Network (April 2018 – March 2019)

The Network aims to build the critical evidence for social prescribing in Wales working with academic partners, health and social care partners and third sector partners. It functions as a research platform to support the three communities of practice in North, West and East Wales, primarily through a virtual network but also with face-to-face events across Wales.

We are aiming to explore the following priorities:

  • What systems might sustain community assets? How can we make it sustainable?
  • What does ‘good’ look like? What are the critical success factors for social prescribing? What are the barriers to stop things working?
  • What would an all-Wales agreed evaluation framework look like?
  • How can we be mindful of de-medicalisation/medicalisation power-dynamics and language?
  • How do we stay true to the experience of an individual vs the experience of the ‘population’?
  • How can we use ‘appropriately’ ethical research processes? What are appropriate forms of inquiry to produce useful evidence?
  • How are decisions made? And what nudges are needed?
  • What does ‘accountability’ mean?

Members use a participatory research approach to hold to account the notion that society is based on equality and democracy. Participatory research is designed to engage participants in the research or evaluation process. It assumes that the knowledge and wisdom required for developing the Network and its research will emerge through collective intelligence and creativity. The Network has 280 research members and 280 community of practice members.

Specific projects are being undertaken in each health board area: Abertawe Bro Morgannwg, Aneurin Bevan, Cardiff & Vale of Glamorgan, Cwm Taf, Hywel Dda, Powys, North Wales.

Final report: Final Report on the All Wales Social Prescribing Research Network. Setting its Research Priorities for Wales. (2018)


Evidence & resources:

Related publications:

Social Prescribing: how to create a sustainable journey? (2018)Institute for Welsh Affairs, Click on Wales, October 2018. Carolyn Wallace, Judith Stone, Sally Rees

Social Prescribing in WalesPublic Health Wales Primary Care Hub, 2018

Social Prescribing project overviewPrimary Care One Wales, 2017

Keywords: social prescribing, equality, citizen engagement, participatory research, collective intelligence

Contributed by: Carolyn Wallace, University of South Wales; Judith Stone, WCVA (Wales Council for Voluntary Action)




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