What is social prescribing?

  • Richard Kimberlee
Keywords: Holistic, Social Prescribing, General Practice, Clinical Commissioning Group, Wellbeing

Abstract

This article outlines research into social prescribing provision in one Clinical Commissioning Group area in England.  Based on primary data collected from focus groups with social prescribing  practitioners (n=8), local council/Public Health employees (n=6) and GPs (n=4) and interviews with  40 social prescription practitioners and 22 patients from 23 interventions it shows that there is no clear and agreed definition of what constitutes social prescribing. Based on analysis of local practice this article delineates social prescribing interventions into four types: Signposting, Light, Medium and Holistic. It outlines the problems related to data collection around social prescribing interventions effectiveness but points to emerging evidence that suggests that SP holistic interventions can contribute to improvement in patient wellbeing, reduction in anxiety and depression and attendance at GP surgeries.

References

• Kessler D, Lloyd K, and Lewis G. (1999) Cross-sectional study of symptom attribution and recognition of depression and anxiety in primary care, BMJ 318:436-39

• Scottish Executive (2005) Doing well by people with depression: Evidence to practice – a guide to help develop services for the management of depression, Edinburgh: Scottish Executive.

• European Social Network (2011) Mental Health and Wellbeing in Europe: A person-centred community approach, ESN: Brussels.

• European Social Network (2011) op. cit. p8

• Gerada C. (2013) Final keynote speech to the Royal College of General Practitioners Annual conference, 3rd October 2013, Harrogate, London. Accessed 8th October 2013.

• Beavers N. (2013) Social prescribing and community facing services may be the future for GPs, Primary Care Today, Autumn 2013.

• Hardy J. (2013) Putting less emphasis on classifying mental disorders and more on collaborative working, BMJ, 2013;347:f5873.p347

• Beavers, N. (2013) op. cit.p5

• Gerada C. (2013) op. cit.

• Hardy J. (2013) op. cit. p347

• Coulter A, Roberts S. and Dixon A. (2013) Delivering better services for people with long-term conditions: building the house of care. Oct 2013. The King’s Fund: London.

www.kingsfund.org.uk/publications/delivering-better-servicespeople-long-term-conditions

Accessed 17th October 2013

• South J, Higgins T, Woodall J. and White S. (2008). Can social prescribing provide the missing link? Primary Health Care Research & Development, 9, pp 310-318. doi:10.1017/S146342360800087X.

• Grant C, Goodenough T, Harvey I. and Hine C. 2000: A randomized controlled trial and economic evaluation of a referrals facilitator between primary care and the voluntary sector. BMJ, 320, 419–23.

• Brown M, Friedli L. and Watson S. 2004: Prescriptions for pleasure, Mental Health Today, June 20–23, 2004.

• Scottish Development Centre for Mental Health (2007) Developing Social Prescribing and Community Referrals for Mental Health in Scotland, Edinburgh: The Stationery Office.

• Scottish Development Centre for Mental Health (2003) Building Community Wellbeing An Exploration of themes and issues. Project report to the Scottish Executive, Edinburgh: The Stationery Office.

• South J. et al (2008) op. cit.

• Brandling J. and House W. (2007) Investigation into the feasibility of a social prescribing service in primary care: a pilot project. University of Bath and Bath and NE Somerset NHS.

• Evans R, Henderson M, Lunney M. & Thompson J. (2011) North Tyneside Social Prescribing Hub: Mental Well-being Impact Assessment.

• Brandling J. and House W. (2007) p15 op. cit.

• Coulter et al (2013) p16 op. cit.

• ERS Research and Consultancy (2013) Newcastle Social Prescribing Project: Final Report

• August 2013.

http://www.healthworksnewcastle.org.uk/wp-content/plugins/downloads-manager/upload/Social%20Prescribing%20Evaluation%20Report%20August%202013%20Final.pdf, Accessed 22nd October 2013.

• Friedli L. and Watson S. (2004) Social prescribing for mental health. Durham: Northern Centre for Mental Health.

• Tyldesley R. and Rigby T. (2003) The Arts on Prescription Postnatal Depression Support Service: an evaluation of a twelve week pilot Stockport.

• Millin S. (2003) What are the Barriers for Arts on Prescription? City University: unpublished MA thesis.

• Kimberlee R. and Means R. (2012) Assessing the Impact of the LinkAge hub in Whitehall and St.George, Bristol: Briefing Report, Bristol: UWE.

• Brandling J. and House W. (2009) Social prescribing in general practice: adding meaning to medicine, British Journal of General Practice, 59(563): 454–456.

• Knapp M, McDaid D, & Parsonage M. (Eds.). (2011). Mental health promotion and mental illness prevention: The economic case. London: Department of Health.

Published
2015-01-28