The pop-up Institute for Social Prescribing - spreading innovation in a holistic approach to health and wellbeing
Not every visit to a GP requires a medical prescription. Referring patients to link workers who can connect them to community services, known as social prescribing, can help to boost their health and wellbeing better than clinical treatments can, while also reducing demand on GPs and other public health services. The Institute for Social Prescribing (see below) recognises and celebrates excellence in a community approach to care.
We are running a six-month project to gather insights from the Institute for Social Prescribing during COVID-19. You can read our interim report setting out the insights gathered from the end of March 2020 to end of June 2020, here.
Learning from leaders in social prescribing during COVID-19
The South West Academic Health Science Network (SW AHSN) has been inviting organisations from across the South West to participate in a Rapid Cycle Learning exercise during COVID-19. Rapid Cycle Learning is a way of capturing and transferring knowledge to continually improve a system.
Aimie Cole, a SW AHSN Associate Researcher introduces the interim report from the Institute for social prescribing highlighting the ways that practitioners, researchers and policy makers have worked together over the first months of the Institute, including with the arrival of COVID-19. Read the interim report.
Kim Morrissey, SW AHSN Partnerships Manager, discusses some of the insights gained from one of the Institute for Social Prescribing’s test beds: One Ilfracombe - a community partnership bringing together residents, health care professionals, emergency services, local authorities, schools, charities and businesses in the seaside resort of Ilfracombe, North Devon. Read the full case study from One Northern Devon.
Sarah Robens, SW AHSN Evaluation Lead and Spread Fellow, explores how social prescribing link workers at St Austell Healthcare shifted their focus, including swiftly relaunching their mobile app to ensure the continued provision of community-wide health information, advice and activities. Read the full case study.
William Lilley, SW AHSN Programme Director, is leading our COVID-19 work addressing health inequalities. He outlines the work happening in Frome, Somerset in this blog. During COVID-19 groups linked across the community and with Primary Care providers to ensure support was joined-up and easily accessible by local people. Read the full case study from Frome here.
Local voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector are critical partners within social prescribing projects. Some of the first participants to take part in the SW AHSN rapid cycle learning study during the COVID-19 crisis were from the local voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector, with insights on the power of collaboration, co-ordination and dedication from Volunteer Cornwall, Cornwall Voluntary Sector Forum and SNUG Devon. Click to download learning highlights.
The social prescribing team will be sharing more learning, including through blogs and case studies from across the region in the coming weeks. Look out for these on this page, in our news section and on Twitter.
The Institute for Social Prescribing launched in 2019
Together with public health consultant Professor Sir Muir Gray and NHS England National Clinical Lead for social prescribing Dr Michael Dixon, we are creating regional and national test beds across the South West to lead and test innovation through the Institute for Social Prescribing.
Read the interim report from the Institute for Social Prescribing. This sets out insights gathered with the Institute of Social Prescribing from the end of March 2020 until the end of June 2020, including a summary of insights gathered during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Personalising care through prescribing
Social prescribing is contributing towards personalised care – a tailored way of providing care for individuals, rather than a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. The NHS Long Term Plan states that personalised care will become ‘business as usual’ across the health and care system over the next decade.
Testing innovative social prescribing
The Institute for Social Prescribing has created five test beds across South West England. We have appointed the following senior fellows to lead each site.
Cullompton: Dr Daisy Robinson and Ruth Tucker (College Surgery)
Kingsbridge: Dr James Mottram (Norton Brook Medical Centre)
Please see experience and learning from the test beds during COVID-19 pandemic at the top of this page.
To find out more about our Institute for Social Prescribing, please contact the SW AHSN (firstname.lastname@example.org).