What is it?
It’s helping people with non-clinical issues, and connecting them with relevant local support services or groups.
A key component of the NHS Long Term Plan is personalised care. This involves taking an holistic approach that understands the often complex needs of individuals, and proactively supports them to find solutions.
The role of Social Prescribing is to provide a joined up system that helps people tackle needs that are social rather than medical.
While staff in general practice have often performed this role in the past, it is not always their speciality. Patients who were confident enough to seek help could be signposted to known service, but an informal and inconsistent approach meant an inequality of outcomes, even for those who sought support.
The introduction of Primary Care Networks, gave a clear and consistent pathway with specialist staff recruited to give people time and confidence to work on the underlying issues which affect their health and wellbeing.
With an estimated 1 in every 5 patient consultations with a GP dealing with a non-clinical issue, Social Prescribing has the potential to reduce workload pressure and financial burden within primary care.