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Results for 'social prescribing'

Results 1 - 10 of 47

ConnectWELL

ConnectWELL

Introducing ConnectWELL - a social prescribing service – initially funded and piloted in 2014 by NHS Rugby CCG, which aims to improve health and wellbeing for patients and clients. ConnectWELL provides Health Professionals with just one, straightforward referral route to the many Voluntary and Community Sector organisations, groups and activities that can address underlying societal causes, manage or prevent compounding factors of ill-health. ConnectWELL has over 900 organisations and activities, ranging from Carers’ support, community groups, disability services, Faith / Religious / Cultural Activities, Housing / Homelessness Support, Mentoring, Music Groups, and volunteering opportunities.

Understanding the effectiveness and mechanisms of a social prescribing service: a mixed method analysis

WOODALL James, et al
2018

Background: Evidence of the effectiveness of social prescribing is inconclusive causing commissioning challenges. This research focusses on a social prescribing scheme in Northern England which deploys ‘Wellbeing Coordinators’ who offer support to individuals, providing advice on local groups and services in their community. The research sought to understand the outcomes of the service and, in addition, the processes which supported delivery. Methods: Quantitative data was gathered from service users at the point they entered the service and also at the point they exited. Qualitative interviews were also undertaken with service users to gather further understanding of the service and any positive or negative outcomes achieved. In addition, a focus group discussion was also conducted with members of social prescribing staff to ascertain their perspectives of the service both from an operational and strategic perspective. Results: In total, 342 participants provided complete wellbeing data at baseline and post stage and 26 semi-structured qualitative interviews were carried out. Improvements in participants’ well-being, and perceived levels of health and social connectedness as well as reductions in anxiety was demonstrated. In many cases, the social prescribing service had enabled individuals to have a more positive and optimistic view of their life often through offering opportunities to engage in a range of hobbies and activities in the local community. The data on reductions in future access to primary care was inconclusive. Some evidence was found to show that men may have greater benefit from social prescribing than women. Some of the processes which increased the likelihood of success on the social prescribing scheme included the sustained and flexible relationship between the service user and the Wellbeing Coordinator and a strong and vibrant voluntary and community sector. Conclusions: Social prescribing has the potential to address the health and social needs of individuals and communities. This research has shown a range of positive outcomes as a result of service users engaging with the service. Social prescribing should be conceptualised as one way to support primary care and tackle unmet needs.

A connected society. A strategy for tackling loneliness: laying the foundations for change

GREAT BRITAIN. Her Majesty's Government
2018

This strategy builds on the work of the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness and sets out the government's approach to tackling loneliness in England. The strategy highlights the role that everyone can play in tackling loneliness, including government, communities and the individual. The government's work on loneliness is guided by three overarching goals: building the evidence base, embedding loneliness as a consideration across government policy, and building a national conversation on loneliness, to raise awareness of its impacts and to help tackle stigma. Chapter one provides a summary of the existing evidence base on loneliness, including its impacts and causes. The following three chapters set out government commitments and partnerships in three areas seen as crucial to build a connected society. These are: organisations and services - how government, working with local authorities, health bodies, businesses and the voluntary sector will introduce a range of new initiatives that enable the everyday services we use to connect those at risk of loneliness to support; community infrastructure – such as accessing community space, transport and well designed housing; and building a culture that encourages strong social relationships – including tackling stigma surrounding loneliness and supporting community groups. Chapter five sets out how government will take this agenda forward and sets out a commitment from the Loneliness Action Group to continue its work until at least the end of 2019. The document highlights examples from practice throughout.

Community Webs: final evaluation report

BROWN C., et al
2018

Evaluation of Community Webs, a pilot project funded by Bristol Ageing Better (BAB) and Better Care Bristol (BCB), a social prescribing service which enables GP patients to access social activities and non-medical support services available in their local community. The evaluation of used both qualitative and quantitative methods to understand the process of delivery, short-term outcomes for clients and key costs linked to the project. The evaluation findings include client profiles and patterns of service use, patient experience of the linkworker service, GP and practice staff perceptions of the service, and links between service participation and client outcomes. The main reasons for practitioners making referrals were social isolation, low confidence and self-esteem and practical support needs (including welfare benefits, housing and form filling). The results suggest that Community Webs is beneficial for patients and GPs, in particular through its person-centred methods which have resulted in significant improvements to patients’ health and wellbeing. Patients have been provided with the right information to help them to access social, emotional and practical support, and have been able to make positive choices regarding their broader health and wellbeing needs. GP’s and practice staff have demonstrated trust in the voluntary and community sector, and in social prescribing in particular, by continuing to refer their patients into the service. The report also highlights that there is no ‘one size fits all’ in relation to social prescribing services and the value of exploring both the individual and community ‘assets’. Learning and recommendations are included.

VCSE sector engagement and social prescribing

VEASEY Phil, NEFF Jennifer, MONK-OZGUL Leeann
2018

This report, commissioned by the Greater London Authority, looks at the role of the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector in delivering social prescribing in London and the challenges and opportunities the sector faces. It draws on case studies to highlight good and effective practice and successful partnerships models. It also outlines the resources required in terms of leadership, staff training, fundraising, technological, capacity building and other support to build an effective business case for voluntary and community-sector organisations to engage with social prescribing. The final sections suggest ways to engage voluntary sector organisations in the development and delivery of a social prescribing strategy in London and identifies specific roles for the Mayor and GLA for taking forward social prescribing. The report draws consultation with 100 experts across the VCSE sector, commissioners from the statutory-sector commissioners and representatives of the health and social care sectors.

Loneliness: how do you know your council is actively tacking loneliness?

LOCAL GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION
2018

Sets out a framework of interventions for tackling loneliness, which could be used to shape local areas delivery plans. There is a growing body of research showing that loneliness is a serious condition which can have a harmful effect on individuals’ physical and mental health, as well as bringing costs to public finance, particularly health and social care, and to the economy. The report argues that it is important that local areas define the nature of loneliness in their area, and who is at risk, through their JSNA, using local intelligence and national information such as that provided by the ONS and Age UK’s Loneliness heat map. The document identifies a number of services and approaches that provide the first steps in finding individuals who are experiencing loneliness and enabling them to gain support that meets their specific needs. These include: first contact schemes; door-knocking schemes, targeting people at risk; formal social care assessments; social prescribing in primary care; home from hospital or admissions avoidance schemes; information about activity to tackle loneliness available through settings such as supermarkets, one-stop-shops, pharmacies and GP surgeries. The report also considers direct interventions, which can help people maintain existing relationships and develop new ones, including: group activities such as men’s groups, lunch clubs, walking groups, book groups for people with mental health problems, choirs, and cooking groups for young parents; one-to-one approaches such as befriending schemes; psychological support, such as counselling or cognitive-behavioural therapy. Specific community approaches provide an enabling environment and include: establishing age-friendly, dementia-friendly and mental health-friendly communities; developing volunteering, including people who might not ordinarily volunteer; mobilising peer support, and intergenerational support in neighbourhoods. In addition, gateway services such as transport, technology, spatial planning and housing make it easier for communities to come together and help people build and maintain social connections.

Men’s sheds: the perceived health and wellbeing benefits

CRABTREE Lois, TINKER Anthea, GLASER Karen
2018

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore older men’s perceptions of the health and wellbeing benefits of participating in men’s sheds. Design/methodology/approach: Qualitative semi-structured interviews with eight men aged 65 and over from men’s sheds in London. Interviews were audio recorded and transcribed by hand, and analysis was conducted through coding of the transcripts. Findings: The results of this study suggested that men’s sheds improved older men’s perceived level of social interaction, men’s outlook, led to self-reported improvements in depression, and all perceived themselves to be fitter since joining. Despite the research being conducted in an urban area, it highlighted the lack of prior community engagement. Research limitations/implications: The sample size used in the research was small and may not be representative of other men’s sheds in different areas, therefore further research with a larger sample should be conducted. Practical implications: A health policy dedicated to males which includes the promotion and funding of men’s sheds, such as in Ireland, should be considered by the government. In addition, clinical commissioning groups should recognise men’s sheds as a non-clinical alternative for their patients through social prescribing in general practice. Finally, in order to achieve the World Health Organisation initiative of creating “age friendly cities” community groups such as men’s sheds need to be promoted and further utilised. Originality/value: There has been little research in the UK.

Effects of a museum-based social prescription intervention on quantitative measures of psychological wellbeing in older adults

THOMSON Linda J., et al
2018

Aims: To assess psychological wellbeing in a novel social prescription intervention for older adults called Museums on Prescription and to explore the extent of change over time in six self-rated emotions (‘absorbed’, ‘active’, ‘cheerful’, ‘encouraged’, ‘enlightened’ and ‘inspired’). Methods: Participants (n = 115) aged 65–94 years were referred to museum-based programmes comprising 10 weekly sessions, by healthcare and third sector organisations using inclusion criteria (e.g. socially isolated, able to give informed consent, not in employment, not regularly attending social or cultural activities) and exclusion criteria (e.g. unable to travel to the museum, unable to function in a group situation, unlikely to be able to attend all sessions, unable to take part in interviews and complete questionnaires). In a within-participants’ design, the Museum Wellbeing Measure for Older Adults (MWM-OA) was administered pre-post session at start-, mid- and end-programme. A total of 12 programmes, facilitated by museum staff and volunteers, were conducted in seven museums in central London and across Kent. In addition to the quantitative measures, participants, carers where present, museum staff and researchers kept weekly diaries following guideline questions and took part in end-programme in-depth interviews. Results: Multivariate analyses of variance showed significant participant improvements in all six MWM-OA emotions, pre-post session at start-, mid- and end-programme. Two emotions, ‘absorbed’ and ‘enlightened’, increased pre-post session disproportionately to the others; ‘cheerful’ attained the highest pre-post session scores whereas ‘active’ was consistently lowest. Conclusion: Museums can be instrumental in offering museum-based programmes for older adults to improve psychological wellbeing over time. Participants in the study experienced a sense of privilege, valued the opportunity to liaise with curators, visit parts of the museum closed to the public and handle objects normally behind glass. Participants appreciated opportunities afforded by creative and co-productive activities to acquire learning and skills, and get to know new people in a different context.

Facilitators and barriers of implementing and delivering social prescribing services: a systematic review

PESCHENY Julia Vera, PAPPAS Yannis, RANDHAWA Gurch
2018

Background: Social Prescribing is a service in primary care that involves the referral of patients with non-clinical needs to local services and activities provided by the third sector (community, voluntary, and social enterprise sector). Social Prescribing aims to promote partnership working between the health and the social sector to address the wider determinants of health. To date, there is a weak evidence base for Social Prescribing services. The objective of the review was to identify factors that facilitate and hinder the implementation and delivery of SP services based in general practice involving a navigator. Methods: The search included eleven databases, the grey literature, and the reference lists of relevant studies to identify the barriers and facilitators to the implementation and delivery of Social Prescribing services in June and July 2016. Searches were limited to literature written in English. No date restrictions were applied. Findings were synthesised narratively, employing thematic analysis. The Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool Version 2011 was used to evaluate the methodological quality of included studies. Results: Eight studies were included in the review. The synthesis identified a range of factors that facilitate and hinder the implementation and delivery of SP services. Facilitators and barriers were related to: the implementation approach, legal agreements, leadership, management and organisation, staff turnover, staff engagement, relationships and communication between partners and stakeholders, characteristics of general practices, and the local infrastructure. The quality of most included studies was poor and the review identified a lack of published literature on factors that facilitate and hinder the implementation and delivery of Social Prescribing services. Conclusion: The review identified a range of factors that facilitate and hinder the implementation and delivery of Social Prescribing services. Findings of this review provide an insight for commissioners, managers, and providers to guide the implementation and delivery of future Social Prescribing services. More high quality research and transparent reporting of findings is needed in this field.

Roots and Shoots

SMART Cranleigh

SMART Cranleigh is an innovative community led programme that takes a place-based approach to health and wellbeing. Whilst the goal is to support the wellbeing of all villagers; the impetus for the programme came in part from the realisation that traditional health and social care services were not alone able to meet the needs of people of all ages in a large and fast growing rural village. Specifically they were not adequately meeting the needs of the significant and increasing number of older people within the community.

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