Recognising that people’s health is determined primarily by a range of social, economic and environmental factors, social prescribing seeks to address people’s needs in a holistic way. It also aims to support individuals to take greater control of their own health. As well as benefitting the individual, social prescribing schemes could also lead to a reduction in the use of NHS services.
Essentially, it’s a mechanism for linking patients with non-medical sources of support within the community and can also be referred to as community referral.
Examples of social prescribing schemes include volunteering, arts activities, group learning, gardening, befriending, cookery, healthy eating advice and a range of sports.
This information is from Primary Care One’s primer, and you can read more here.
It’s also worth checking out their:
This video from SP Students Cymru is meant to be shared with healthcare professionals to show them just how much of a difference social prescribing can make in their patients lives.
This Gov.uk guide will help front-line health and care staff use their trusted relationships with patients, families and communities to promote the benefits of social prescribing. They also recommend important actions that managers and staff holding strategic roles can take.
Our knowledge base already has a handy page on social prescribing research in Wales.
For other ways to think about this practice, check out the first in this four part blog series.