What Is Social Prescribing?
- 1 What is the meaning of social prescribing?
- 2 What is good social prescribing?
- 3 What is a digital social prescribing platform?
- 4 What is social prescribing for individuals with mental health problems?
- 5 What prescribing means?
- 6 What is the meaning of on prescribing?
- 7 What does prescribing mean in medical terms?
NHS England » Social prescribing Social prescribing involves helping patients to improve their health, wellbeing and social welfare by connecting them to community services which might be run by the council or a local charity. For example, signposting people who have been diagnosed with dementia to local dementia support groups.
The NHSE Social Prescribing team is currently supporting NHS, Health Providers and the Voluntary Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) with social prescribing development. The contact lists are used to contact social prescribing contacts who have requested to be part of the social prescribing regional networks so that network members can keep up-to-date with social prescribing development and to also share information and good practice.
Details held within the contact lists are provided by the attendees of the Social Prescribing team events and as such, the information is supplied to the Social Prescribing team voluntarily.
Introduction – This guide will help frontline health and care staff use their trusted relationships with patients, families and communities to promote the benefits of social prescribing. We also recommend important actions that managers and staff holding strategic roles can take.
- View the full range of All Our Health topics.
- A free interactive e-learning version of this topic is now available to use.
- The e-learning session is based on the All Our Health content below.
- It is designed to be interactive and easy to use.
- If you are registered on the e-learning for healthcare site, it will count towards your continued professional development.
The session is intended to build both skills and confidence in health and care professionals, to embed prevention in their day-to-day practice. Social prescribing – sometimes referred to as community referral – is a means of enabling GPs, nurses and other health and care professionals to refer people to a range of local, non-clinical services.
- 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.
- Social prescribing schemes can involve a variety of activities which are typically provided by voluntary and community sector organisations.
Examples include volunteering, arts activities, group learning, gardening, befriending, cookery, healthy eating advice and a range of sports. There are many different models for social prescribing, but most involve a link worker or navigator who works with people to access local sources of support. Those who find themselves excluded from society, discriminated against, or lacking power and control because of living in extreme poverty, can be the least likely to access and benefit from services – despite often having the worst health. Adopting more community-centred practice can help provide more appropriate and effective ways of engaging people and improving their health and wellbeing.
The extent to which we have control over our lives, have good social connections and live in healthy, safe neighbourhoods are all important influences on health. These community-level determinants are protective of good mental and physical health and can be a buffer against stressors during a lifetime.
Social prescribing and community-based support is part of the NHS Long Term Plan’s commitment to make personalised care business as usual across the health and care system. Personalised care means people have choice and control over the way their care is planned and delivered, based on ‘what matters’ to them and their individual strengths and needs.
- Social prescribing is one of the 6 components of universal personalised care,
- The NHS Long Term Plan published in January 2019 has a commitment to personalised care and increasing access to social prescribing for the whole population.
- Social prescribing enables all local agencies to refer people to a link worker.
Link workers give people time and focus on what matters to the person as identified through shared decision making or personalised care and support planning. They connect people to community groups and agencies for practical and emotional support. Link workers collaborate with local partners to help community groups be accessible and sustainable and support people starting new groups.
Referrals to link workers can come from a wide range of local agencies, including general practice, local authorities, pharmacies, multi-disciplinary teams, hospital discharge teams, allied health professionals, fire service, police, job centres, social care services, housing associations and voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations.
Self-referral is also encouraged. Some health and care professionals whose roles involve long-term intensive support may undertake social prescribing directly. Social prescribing complements other approaches, such as active signposting by health and care professionals.
- Active signposting is a ‘light touch’ approach using a making every contact count approach where existing staff in local agencies engage individuals in conversations about what matters to them and provide information to signpost people to services, using local knowledge and resource directories.
- Active signposting works best for people who are confident and skilled enough to find their own way to services after a brief intervention.
Personalised care relies on people having health literacy; the knowledge, skills, understanding and confidence they need to be able to use health and care information and services. In 2015 the Institute of Health Equity published a report about improving health literacy to reduce health inequalities,
manage long term conditions engage with preventative programmes and make informed healthy lifestyle choices keep to medication regimes
This leads to worse health outcomes across a range of indicators, increased health inequalities for affected individuals and increased preventable mortality. A health literacy toolkit has been published to raise awareness of health literacy and support the health, care and the wider public health workforce to make services accessible.
- Social prescribing improves outcomes for people by giving more choice and control over their lives and an improved sense of belonging when people get involved in community groups.
- It is also effective at targeting the causes of health inequalities and is an important facet of community-centred practice,
It is particularly useful for people who need more support with their mental health, have one or more long-term conditions, are lonely or isolated, or have complex social needs that affect their wellbeing. Social prescribing can meet many different types of non-clinical need, ranging from support and advice for individuals experiencing debt, unemployment, housing or mobility issues to tackling loneliness by building social connections through joining local community groups, such as walking, singing or gardening groups.
Key attributes of a good social prescriber – Any individual working in the social and health care sector should have a set of basic skills and knowledge. For social prescribers, in particular, these may include:
good working knowledge of community services in a given locality;good IT skills to research local groups online;adequate writing skills to develop plans and reports.
Unlike a primary healthcare professional, however, there are no formal qualifications to be a social prescriber. Prior experience in social and/or healthcare settings is ideal. Still, this can either be in a professional or voluntary capacity. A skilled link worker is non-clinically trained.
Given the person-centred ethos of the role, it is more important for link workers to have the right values and behaviours. These include empathic qualities, effective listening skills, and the ability to put people at ease and gain their trust. Social prescribers spend time with a person to work out their preferences, strengths and goals.
Their role is to motivate and support. They are here to empower people to take control of their wellbeing journey. For one, link workers have to be proactive, They must dedicate their time and effort to the service user. There is a need to refrain from making assumptions about their wants and needs.
A related attribute would then be flexibility, Social prescribers need to be open to revisiting personalised plans. Ensuring these are tailored to the changing needs of clients and the local area is important. In this case, link workers also need a strong ability to identify and assess risk, That is, having an acute awareness of when it may be appropriate to refer people back to primary healthcare.
For instance, where there is a mental health need beyond the scope of their role and demands a qualified practitioner. Given the complex varied circumstances of those they will encounter, social prescribers ought to have a non-judgemental approach :
Getting along with people from all backgrounds and communitiesRespecting all lifestyles and diversity
A key struggle link workers will face in their work is local gaps in service provision. In other words, a lack of community services to refer clients to. Social prescribers thus need problem-solving and innovative skills to circumvent these obstacles. For example, a study by the University of Sheffield found link workers using novel strategies to address gaps in services.
This meant developing self-sustaining groups around their service users’ interests. One of these included a choir for young people after recognising the underrepresentation of this group within their service. The study also concluded highly-skilled link workers as the key to the success of the intervention.
Link workers support people in a way that inspires trust and confidence. They operate from a strengths-based model to motivate individuals to reach their potential. They are committed to reducing health inequalities by working to reach people from all communities. ABOUT Joy
Social prescribing doesn’t address the underlying social determinants of health, so has a limited role to play in tackling health inequalities. However, it may provide practical support for some of those most vulnerable as a result of health inequalities.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Social prescribing (also known as community referral ) is when health professionals refer patients to support in the community, in order to improve their health and wellbeing. The concept has gained support in the NHS organisations of the United Kingdom as well as in Ireland and the Netherlands and forms part of the NHS Long Term Plan,
- The referral mechanisms, target groups, services offered through social prescribing vary across settings.
- However, the process usually involves screening for non-medical needs and referrals to support services that are typically offered by community-based organizations.
- The goals of social prescribing are to reduce the rise of healthcare costs and easing pressure of general practice clinics.
A 2015 Commission in the UK estimated that about 20% of patient consultations were for social problems rather than medical problems.
How Does Social Prescribing Work? – Social prescribing is a specially structured way of referring people to a range of local, non-clinical services. It complements clinical treatments and seeks to address people’s social needs through community partnerships that align with clients’ interests and goals.
- As an asset-based approach, social prescribing recognizes people as not just patients with needs, but as community members with gifts to share.
- It supports participating clients as they engage with and give back to their communities.
- The goal of integrated healthcare and social prescribing is to go beyond treating illness to focus on advancing wellness.
Social prescribing may look differently depending on the community, their local needs and capacity. Five essential components have emerged as the foundation of an impactful model of social prescribing: the individual or client, the prescriber, the navigator, the social prescriptions, and the data pathway.
- The 5 Key Components of Social Prescribing at a Glance Social prescribing is centred on the client, an individual with social and medical needs, as well as interests, goals, and gifts (such as skills or their own resources).
- The prescriber, a healthcare provider with trusted relationship with the client, is key to leveraging healthcare appointments as an opportunity to identify underlying non-medical issues and making a social prescribing referral.
The social prescribing navigator catches the referral and connects the client to appropriate resources based on self-identified interests and needs, and supports their journey to full wellbeing. Social prescriptions can include a diverse range of non-clinical interventions, such as educational classes food subsidy, housing navigation, arts and culture engagement, peer-run social groups, and nature-based activities. Watch this introductory video about Social Prescribing : Social prescribing has gained widespread recognition in the UK with prominent figures in their healthcare system pioneering the change. Hear from the “godmother of social prescribing in the UK” – General Practitioner Dr.
DAPB4066: Social Prescribing Information Standard – NHS Digital This is an information standard commissioned by NHS England from the Professional Record Standards Body (PRSB) with the intent to enable social prescribing support provision to be recorded, amended and maintained collaboratively between patients, link workers and health and care professionals.
Social prescribing and community-based support is part of the NHS Long Term Plan’s commitment to embed across the health and care system. Personalised care means people are given choice and control over how their care is planned and delivered, determined by ‘what matters’ to them based on their individual strengths and needs.
Social prescribing enables all local agencies in an area to refer people to a social prescribing link worker to receive the care they need. Self-referral may also occur. Social prescribing link workers give the people receiving care time to understand what matters to them and allow appropriate connections to community groups, services, and activities for practical, social and emotional support services, for example working with a gardening charity.
Social prescribing and community-based support addresses the wider determinants of health, recognising that not all health difficulties can be treated through traditional medical approaches. Phase 1 of a the Standard enables social prescribing support provision to be recorded, amended and maintained collaboratively between patients, link workers and health and care professionals,
There is no data flow or publication associated with this phase of the standard, it describes the underpinning principles and expectations for capturing data across care settings. Phase 2 of the Standard, a future release, will specify sharing of the recoded data using FHIR messages and possibly a data collection.
- This information standard is published under section 250 of the Health and Social Care Act 2012.
- An Information Standards Notice (see below) provides an overview of scope and implementation timescales, and the requirements specification provides further detail for those who have to implement the information standard.
: DAPB4066: Social Prescribing Information Standard – NHS Digital
Evaluation approaches and methods – This section outlines the various methods and approaches used in the social prescribing evaluation literature reviewed. The vast majority of the evaluations (97%) – all except Panagioti and colleagues (2018) – were non-experimental in design, which meant that a control group was not assigned as a comparator.
- This is a weakness within the evaluation literature in terms of assessing the efficacy of social prescribing.
- Thus, most evaluations determine the benefits to users of the service, without comparison to treatment that would have been received regardless, or consideration of those who ‘drop out’ or decline to take part.
The methodology closest to a controlled study was that used by Panagioti and colleagues (2018). It included a control group assigned using a ‘Trials within Cohorts’ (TWiCs) design. TwiCs resemble more closely how treatment decision-making is carried out within routine care than a conventional randomised control trial.
Overall, most of the papers (62%) were focused on outcomes evaluation, of which two included economic analysis: an assessment of the economic and environmental costs of a social prescribing service in Maughan and colleagues (2016), and economic and social cost-based analysis in Dayson and Bashir (2014).
Some of the evaluations considered process (21%), which assesses the development and implementation of an intervention, highlighting what has worked well and what has not. Undertaking more process evaluations would help inform the development, and potentially the success, of social prescribing interventions.
One process evaluation included an analysis of cost and potential savings (Bertotti and colleagues, 2015). Of the evaluations we reviewed, 17% were formative in nature and, therefore, had been designed to continually assess the impact of the intervention during its lifetime and offer ongoing information to inform future delivery.
The most commonly used data collection method was interviewing (76%). This is an appropriate method to use in order to understand individuals’ experiences of taking part in a social prescribing programme. Twelve evaluations (41%) combined qualitative interviewing with some type of quantitative measure.
- The most common quantitative indicators are ranking types of physical and mental health measures such as WEMWBS and/or healthcare service usage data.
- Validated health measures were used by ten evaluations (34%).
- Twenty-one (72%) of the reviewed evaluations included some form of before and after measurement – this helped to understand changes that may be brought about by the social prescribing interventions.
There was great variability in the length of time between baseline measurement and follow-up within the evaluations, ranging from two weeks to two years.
See the social prescribing software so many organisations use to deliver the highest quality care – What is social prescribing? Social prescribing is an approach to healthcare growing movement that connects people with a range of non-clinical programmes, services, and events in their local community. How does social prescribing work? Our social prescribing software enables you to create bespoke social prescribing programmes suited to the needs of your community and to facilitate more people to access and engage in social prescribing services. Find out more about what is social prescribing How to measure the impact of social prescribing One method that will benefit most social prescribers is incorporating both quantitative and qualitative data when measuring the impact of social prescribing.
Forming local partnerships is one of the best ways to do this as it will provide you access with robust reporting systems to get all the required data you need from clinical systems. Spreadsheets vs digital social prescribing platform: which is the best choice for me? Spreadsheets will not enable your social prescribing programme to reach a larger number of people and generate more referrals.
A digital social prescribing platform should make it easier for people to access and be referred to your programme. How can Social Prescribing improve Mental Health? In order to re-shape mental health services, social prescribing has been identified as a means of self-management, connecting individuals into non-medical sources of support to improve their health and wellbeing, such as debt, housing and employment advice as well as exercise programmes and green space.
What is social prescribing? – Social prescribing is an individualised approach that connects people to activities, groups and services in their community to meet the practical, social and emotional needs that affect their health and well-being. Although it has been around for quite a while and is active in some areas, there is a perception that it can only be accessed via a GP and that it is mainly to help people with mental health needs.
Social prescribing projects The most common examples of social prescribing are primary care-based projects that refer at-risk or vulnerable patients to a specific programme : for example, exercise on prescription, prescription for learning and arts on prescription.
What are the key responsibilities of prescribing?
Your prescribing duties – You have a duty to understand the drug you are prescribing, including any possible adverse effects, contraindications and the need for appropriate monitoring. You are responsible for the prescriptions you sign, even if they have been produced by non-clinical staff. You should be sure that the drug and dosage are correct.
What prescribing means?
: to order or direct the use of something as a remedy. the doctor prescribed an antibiotic. prescriber noun.
What is the purpose of prescribing?
Introduction – Prescribing is the most important tool used by physicians to cure illness, relieve symptoms and prevent future disease. Prescribing is also a complex task that requires diagnostic skills, knowledge of common medicines, understanding of the principles of clinical pharmacology, communication skills, and the ability to make decisions based on judgments of potential benefit and risks, having taken into account available evidence and specific factors relating to the patient being treated.
What is the meaning of on prescribing?
British : by having a written message from a doctor that officially tells one to use a medicine, therapy, etc. The drug is only available on prescription,
What does prescribing mean in medical terms?
Prescribe verb (GIVE MEDICINE) (of a doctor) to say what medical treatment someone should have : The drug is often prescribed for ulcers.