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Books on prescription

Lead service provider/commissioner


Warwickshire County Council

Type of knowledge

Type of knowledge:

Project evaluation

Type of evaluation:


Prevention service description

Initially an idea of the Adult Social Care team, the scheme was developed by Libraries and Public Health who reviewed the evidence for bibliotherapy and self-help before working together to draw up the initial list of titles. A full set of books was purchased for all 32 libraries in the Warwickshire area, with 21 libraries continuing to stock the BOP collections. Upon the launch of the national Reading Well scheme in 2013, this list evolved to incorporate the most popular local titles (measured via a user survey) alongside the ones recommended on the national list, which was developed by the Reading Agency and the Society of Chief Librarians with health bodies such as the Royal Colleges of GPs, Nursing and Psychiatrists and IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies) among many others.

Additional funding was gained to create dementia and young people's mental health book lists and since that time the scheme has been continually funded by the Libraries, Public Health, Adult Social Care and the Children and Young People's Mental Health Commissioning. This continued funding was secured as a result of work done on collecting information about the impact of the scheme. This involved collecting comments from readers during the project development phase and through a detailed Books on Prescription User Survey. The scheme has now been built into the library services' mainstream strategic work, with Public Health representatives sitting on its steering group, which meets annually.

Intervention/service type:

Information and advice; Low-level support; Social prescribing

Target client group(s):

Older people; Adults with mental health problems

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