Social prescribing

A holistic approach

Social prescribing is a means of enabling health professionals to refer people to a range of local, non-clinical services. Recognising that people’s health and wellbeing are determined mostly by a range of social, economic and environmental factors, social prescribing seeks to address people’s needs in a holistic way. It also aims to support individuals to take greater control of their own health. 

We have 20 Social Prescribers working across all our PCNs who liaise with patients to understand their needs and deliver personalised care. We explore the wider determinants of health alongside our patients and do what we can to make improvements and offer support where it is needed.

Projects include:

  • Bereaved Mens Group in response to social isolation and bereavement from the pandemic. This is a peer support group that meets once a month.  
  • A PCN Coffee Morning in response to social isolation and reports from patients about anxiety following the pandemic. 
  • Offering improved information for dementia patients and their families post diagnoses. Patients and carers are contacted as required and receive a leaflet with all the information/services both locally and nationally. 
  • An initiative aimed at tackling neighbourhood health inequalities, by focusing on young families. The aim is to ensure families are aware, and make best use, of all the health and support service that are accessible to them. 
  • Offering wider wellbeing support offer to refugees and asylum seekers in hotels around the area. This has included personal training in hotels as well as planned trips to Crawley Football Club.  
  • Drop in cost-of-living information event for our patients in partnership with a number of community partners. 
  • A collaboration with Sussex National Trust’s Nymans has created a pilot scheme that allows the patients to meet at the site for social prescribing purposes at no charge.  
  • A continued collaboration with the Garden Army. 
  • An “Active Practices” programme that encourages patients and staff to be more active each day. 

In a system where clinicians face so many pressures, patient access to these additional resources is even more important. Our Social Prescribers have the time and the skillset to support Primary Care and help patients to flourish and, in turn, experience better health.