Social Prescribing in the East of England

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People’s health and wellbeing are determined by a range of social, economic and environmental factors. Around 1 in 5 GP appointments are non medical related which suggests that we cannot rely only on medication or doctors to fix these problems. For example, people may visit their GP because they may feeling isolated, lonely or they may be suffering from stress at work.

Social prescribing is a means of enabling GPs, nurses and other health and care professionals to refer people to a range of local, non-clinical services. Social prescribing connects people up to practical and emotional community support through the use of Social Prescribing Link workers (SPLW) and local infrastructure agencies.

Examples of Social prescribing can include:

  • Volunteering
  • Arts Activites
  • Group Learning
  • Gardening
  • Befriending
  • Cookery
  • Healthy Eating Advice
  • Sports

What is a Social Prescribing Link Worker?

Credit: CVS Tendring

Social prescribing link workers give people time by focusing on a Universalised Personalised Care approach to health and wellbeing. This allows people to get more control over their healthcare and a manage their needs in a way that suits them. A social prescribing link worker will listen to the person, create a shared plan and connect them up to community groups and staturary services for practical and emotional support.

Social Prescribing Link Workers work closely with voluntary and community organisations who provide a range or activities like gardening, volunteering, group learning, befriending, physical activities; art activities and much more.

Link Workers support those with

  • with one or more long-term conditions
  • who need support with their mental health
  • who are lonely or isolated

who have complex social needs which affect their wellbeing.

Link Workers support those with

  • with one or more long-term conditions
  • who need support with their mental health
  • who are lonely or isolated
  • who have complex social needs which affect their wellbeing.

More resources for social prescribing link workers can be found here

Social prescribing also has a number of recognised sub-catergories such as:

Green Social Prescribing which focuses on all nature-based interventions and activities, such as walking for health, community gardenings, and much more. These activities can take place in forests, parks and gardens.

Blue Social Prescribing includes any activities and interventions in, on or near water, including activities like fishing, boating, and much more taking places in lakes, rivers, creeks and more.

 

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