LANGFORD Katharine, BAECK Peter, HAMPSON Martha
Examines the constitutive elements of the ‘more than medicine’ approach, looking at social prescribing, signposting through link workers, health trainers and navigators, and community-based services. ‘More than medicine’ creates a set of tools for clinicians to use with patients to address the behavioural and social aspects of long term conditions. It connects the clinical consultation with interventions such as peer support groups, debt counselling, walking groups, befriending, one-to-one coaching and community cooking classes that help people to manage their long-term conditions and improve their health and wellbeing. These activities, places and people help service users and patients to live healthier lives, make friends and learn new skills. The report provides a description of each element of ‘more than medicine’ - social prescribing, signposting and community services - and illustrates the discussion with case studies and summaries of the evidence.
This guidance describes the use of non-medical interventions, sometimes called ‘social prescribing’ or ‘community referral’, to improve mental health and wellbeing. Social prescribing supports improved access both to psychological treatments and to interventions addressing the wider determinants of mental health. It can contribute to greater awareness of the relative contribution to mental wellbeing of individual psychological skills and attributes (e.g. autonomy, positive affect and self-efficacy) and the circumstances of people’s lives: housing, employment, income and status. The guide: examines the benefits of social prescribing; outlines the policy context and evidence base for social prescribing; gives guidance on commissioning social prescribing; provides information on interventions and how to deliver social prescribing; and describes the findings of a social prescribing development project commissioned by Care Services Improvement Partnership (CSIP) North West. Overall, the guidance aims to support localities in developing, implementing and evaluating social prescribing schemes, with a special focus on mental health and wellbeing. The report recommends that social prescribing is made available as part of prevention and early intervention within primary care, and also to support recovery from severe mental distress.