Social prescribing is an intervention that moves away from the medical model of recovery and links patients with non-medical support within their community.
People who benefit in particular from social prescribing are those who:
- have a history of mental health problems
- have two or more conditions
- have untreatable conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome
- are not benefiting from clinical or drug treatment
- are frequent attenders within primary care
- are, or are at risk of being, socially isolated.
Social prescribing can be carried out by a primary care practitioner or within a partnership between local clinical commissioning groups, local authorities and community groups. The range of opportunities can depend on what a locality already offers or funding on creating activities where gaps have been identified. Existing projects illustrate a range of activities within the remit of ‘social prescribing’ such as arts and exercise on referral, computerised CBT, books on prescription, time banks and volunteering, walking groups, ‘knit and natter’, supported employment and befriending.