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Social prescribing

A social prescribing service links people to activities in the community to help improve their health and wellbeing.

Social Prescribing, the benefits
  • Improved health and wellbeing
  • Support for health and lifestyle change
  • Improved self-esteem and confidence
  • Find local groups and meet new people
  • Practical support in the community
  • Tailored to a patients' wants and needs
  • One stop information service

Social Prescribing can help by sign-posting to activities or services that patients may not know about but could benefit from and informing them about what’s available.

The idea behind social prescribing is that it complements the care that people might be receiving from their GP practice. This approach gives patients of any age the space to talk about some of the non-medical underlying issues that affect their wellbeing and to take steps to tackle them.

On referral to the service, patients have an appointment with a social prescriber. Patients are helped to identify the improvements they want to make, including; feeling positive, lifestyle, looking after themselves, managing symptoms and work, volunteering and other activities

Putting it into practice

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), has produced two short films to highlight social prescribing in practice. The films feature Laura - a patient, her social prescribing link worker and her GP.

The video below, a patient's perspective: Laura received tailored support from a social prescribing professional as part of her treatment. Below she talks about how her social prescribing link worker, worked with her to develop an activity plan to help with her depression and anxiety.


In the second video below, her GP gives his perspective on how social prescribing supports personalised care, helping many more patients like Laura to improve their health and wellbeing. 

There are a number of ways to get referred to the social prescribing service:

If you need medical help and are unsure what to do, call NHS 111 for help and advice. They are available 24 hours a day.