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Social Prescribing

Sam_ScopeSam_Scope Posts: 7,732Administrator Scope community team

Social prescribing is a means of enabling GPs and other frontline healthcare professionals to refer people to ‘services’ in their community instead of offering only medicalised solutions to produce a social prescription that will help to improve their health and wellbeing.

The community activities range from art classes to singing groups, from walking clubs to gardening, and to many other interest groups.  It is taking off across the country, particularly with people who are lonely or isolated; people with mild mental health issues who may be anxious or depressed; and, those who struggle to engage effectively with services.

It is also relevant to people with wider social issues such as poverty, debt, housing, relationship problems, all of which impact on their health and wellbeing.  Very often these people have frequent repeat visits to their doctor or to their local emergency department  – effectively trapping them in a ‘revolving door’ of services.

overhead view of a doctors hands with a laptop stethoscope and clipboards

Have you ever heard of social prescribing?

I certainly hadn't but a few weeks ago I got a phonecall from my GP practice from someone asking me if I would be interested in finding out more.  They got in touch because I have a chronic illness with multiple hospital visits and I see a few different clinics and services.

A woman came out to visit me at home and we had a relaxed chat about what was going on with my health and in a broader subject in my life.  She asked about my family, my illness, treatments and how I get on day to day.  She asked about finances and benefits and then what I thought I may need support with.  She was really easy to talk to and she explained my options really well.

She has arranged for someone from the CAB to come out and see me to talk through my PIP and blue badge and has also arranged some free one to one counselling.  There is also the option to try some complementary therapies like massage. 

two hands with one massaging the other

What's happening already?

  • Nearly half of all clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) across England are investing in social prescribing programmes
  • 1 in 5 GPs regularly refer patients to social prescribing. 40 per cent would refer if they had more information about available services 

Impact

Social prescribing is affecting GP consultation rates, A&E attendance, hospital stays, medication use, and social care. The University of Westminster led an evidence review, looking at the impact of social prescribing on demand for NHS Healthcare. They found an average of 28 per cent fewer GP consultations and 24% fewer A&E attendances, where social prescribing ‘connector’ services are working well.
It is also improving people’s health and wellbeing and is contributing to building stronger communities.

If this is of interest to you, then ask your GP if it is available in your area and to find out more, take a look on the NHS website here.

Have you taken part in social prescribing? Is it something you would be interested in? Let us know your thoughts and experiences today.

Scope
Senior online community officer

Replies

  • Sam_ScopeSam_Scope Posts: 7,732Administrator Scope community team
    Hi @EmmaB
    This is the post I was talking about the other day, it would be great to hear your take on it!
    Scope
    Senior online community officer
  • Ami2301Ami2301 Posts: 5,812Community champion Disability Gamechanger
    I think this is a fantastic idea!
    You're a fighter. Look at everything you've overcome. Don't give up now!
  • WaylayWaylay Posts: 875Member Pioneering
    Massage! God, I wish! And counseling....

    I'd love to try this, except that I'm now too paranoid and anxious to leave the house, because I think the DWP may be watching me...
  • Sam_ScopeSam_Scope Posts: 7,732Administrator Scope community team
    Oh @Waylay that really sounds tough, maybe you could call your GP to see if it is something they offer?
    Scope
    Senior online community officer
  • MarkmywordsMarkmywords Posts: 400Member Pioneering
    If you put "prescribe" as a search on the BBC web site, there is a lot of discussion going on about this broader approach to well-being.
    Art and music for depression, dancing for loneliness, gardening etc.
    I think it's a good idea.
  • EmmaBEmmaB Posts: 198Member Pioneering
    @Sam_Scope

    Excellent post!  I really believe that social prescribing is the way forward.  

    All too often GPs / consultants are prescribing drugs to people which long term simply don't work, in this sense there is a real sense of HUGE numbers of people just being written off.  

    The beauty of social prescribing is that it is creative and personal, more importantly it has the potential to give people hope again.  

    The only difficulty that some people will have is contemplating the idea of 'getting better' and functioning again i.e. the implications of that given that some have been written off for many years...

    Let's hope that this takes off and that the Government's investigation into prescribing finally means that people will be offered treatment that works rather than an existence on medication/benefits.  

    Emma
  • newbornnewborn Posts: 328Member Pioneering
    Yeah but no but.  Segregation is wrong. Nobody wants to go to an old folks home.

    Nobody wants to go to a segregated special place where all the cripples are rounded up to be patronised.

    Groucho marks was only partly joking with that famous remark that he wouldn't want to join any club that would take people like him as members (!)

    Of course, if bingo or ballroom dancing is your wish, you may like to  get the nhs to pay for it.  Or, if endless useless drugs are pointless, you may welcome an encouraging companion to accompany you, to a sociable hobby,  till you get into the routine.

    On this board, many mention being virtually housebound.   They are almost certainly the ones in greatest need, and the most hard to reach of the population. 

    By definition,   the proposed target is a group who have demonstrated they are well supplied with an easy time facing GPS and receptionists, and making the journeys to the surgery so frequently they are a nuisance.

    By definition , therefore,  they are well provided with a positive attitude, with companions and/or with ample mobility and independence.    The folk who stay quietly, unhappily, unconfidently at home are no nuisance to g.P's,  because they are unlikely  to ever see them.

    Would a downhearted and disabled person be so optimistic ,  positive and full of hope, that he A) trusting believes that merely asking for some pills, and constantly repeating the same request,  is sure to change his life?     And, B)  would getting appointments and reaching the surgery be something he easily and repeatedly achieves?
  • crackercracker Posts: 305Member Pioneering
    Sam_Scope said:

    Social prescribing is a means of enabling GPs and other frontline healthcare professionals to refer people to ‘services’ in their community instead of offering only medicalised solutions to produce a social prescription that will help to improve their health and wellbeing.

    The community activities range from art classes to singing groups, from walking clubs to gardening, and to many other interest groups.  It is taking off across the country, particularly with people who are lonely or isolated; people with mild mental health issues who may be anxious or depressed; and, those who struggle to engage effectively with services.

    It is also relevant to people with wider social issues such as poverty, debt, housing, relationship problems, all of which impact on their health and wellbeing.  Very often these people have frequent repeat visits to their doctor or to their local emergency department  – effectively trapping them in a ‘revolving door’ of services.

    overhead view of a doctors hands with a laptop stethoscope and clipboards

    Have you ever heard of social prescribing?

    I certainly hadn't but a few weeks ago I got a phonecall from my GP practice from someone asking me if I would be interested in finding out more.  They got in touch because I have a chronic illness with multiple hospital visits and I see a few different clinics and services.

    A woman came out to visit me at home and we had a relaxed chat about what was going on with my health and in a broader subject in my life.  She asked about my family, my illness, treatments and how I get on day to day.  She asked about finances and benefits and then what I thought I may need support with.  She was really easy to talk to and she explained my options really well.

    She has arranged for someone from the CAB to come out and see me to talk through my PIP and blue badge and has also arranged some free one to one counselling.  There is also the option to try some complementary therapies like massage. 

    two hands with one massaging the other

    What's happening already?

    • Nearly half of all clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) across England are investing in social prescribing programmes
    • 1 in 5 GPs regularly refer patients to social prescribing. 40 per cent would refer if they had more information about available services 

    Impact

    Social prescribing is affecting GP consultation rates, A&E attendance, hospital stays, medication use, and social care. The University of Westminster led an evidence review, looking at the impact of social prescribing on demand for NHS Healthcare. They found an average of 28 per cent fewer GP consultations and 24% fewer A&E attendances, where social prescribing ‘connector’ services are working well.
    It is also improving people’s health and wellbeing and is contributing to building stronger communities.

    If this is of interest to you, then ask your GP if it is available in your area and to find out more, take a look on the NHS website here.

    Have you taken part in social prescribing? Is it something you would be interested in? Let us know your thoughts and experiences today.

    @Sa.cSam_Scope said:
    Hi @EmmaB
    This is the post I was talking about the other day, it would be great to hear your take on it!
    Sam_Scope said:
    Hi @EmmaB
    This is the post I was talking about the other day, it would be great to hear your take on it!
    Sam_Scope said:
    Hi @EmmaB
    This is the post I was talking about the other day, it would be great to hear your take on it!
    Sam_Scope said:
    Hi @EmmaB
    This is the post I was talking about the other day, it would be great to hear your take on it!
    Sam_Scope said:
    Hi @EmmaB
    This is the post I was talking about the other day, it would be great to hear your take on it!

  • crackercracker Posts: 305Member Pioneering
    @Sam-Scope, I wish we had something like that here. There is nothing here - at all. Except for my aides, I am, isolated with nowhere to go to for social activities.

    I am not surprised the good effect this has on one's health. I certainly would do much better if   had a program like that.













  • Pippa_ScopePippa_Scope Posts: 5,856Member Disability Gamechanger
    @mumof22018, this may be of interest to you too!
  • mumof22018mumof22018 Posts: 43Member Connected
    Pippa_Scope said:
    @mumof22018, this may be of interest to you too 
    Pippa i will ask my gp i am back up next 26th march also hosp sooner i am in NI so i dnt no of it has started here but i will find out thanks fo the tag x
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