BAKER Keith, IRVING Adele
A promising approach to the management of dementia is ‘social prescribing’. Social prescribing is a form of ‘co-production’ that involves linking patients with non-clinical activities, typically delivered by voluntary and community groups, in an effort to improve their sense of well-being. The success of social prescribing depends upon the ability of boundary-spanning individuals within service delivery organizations to develop referral pathways and collaborative relationships through ‘networks’. This article examines the operation of a pilot social prescribing programme in the North East of England, targeted at older people with early onset dementia and depression, at risk of social isolation. It is argued that the scheme was not sustained, in part, because the institutional logics that governed the actions of key boundary-spanning individuals militated against the collaboration necessary to support co-production.