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Report of the annual social prescribing network conference

Author(s)

SOCIAL PRESCRIBING NETWORK

Publisher(s):

University of Westminster

Publication year:

2016

Report of the annual social prescribing network conference, which sets out a definition of social prescribing, outlines principles for effective service provision and the steps needed to evaluate and measure the impact of social prescribing. It also includes an analysis of a pre-conference survey, completed by 78 participants to explore their experience of social prescribing. Key ingredients identified that underpin social prescribing included: funding, healthcare professional buy-in, simple referral process, link workers with appropriate training, patient centred care, provision of services, patient buy-in and benefits of social prescribing. The benefits of social prescribing fell into six broad headings: physical and emotional health and wellbeing; behaviour change; cost effectiveness and sustainability; capacity to build up the voluntary community; local resilience and cohesion; and tackling the social determinants of ill health. Afternoon sessions covered the following topics: obtaining economic data on social prescribing; engaging different stakeholders in social prescribing; standards and regulations that could be applied to social prescribing services; qualities and skills necessary to commission high quality social prescribing services; designing research studies on social prescribing. Short case studies are included. There was consensus from participants that social prescribing provides potential to reduce pressures on health and care services through referral to non-medical, and often community-based, sources of support. (Edited publisher abstract)


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