Social Prescribing. Everyone is talking about it but what exactly is it? And who exactly prescribes it?

What is social prescribing?

Social Prescribing focuses on the non-medical aspect of health and is a way of linking people to a range of non-clinical services in their area. It is person-centered and person-led.

Who are social prescribers?

Social prescribers or link workers are non-medical professionals who have had training in life coaching. They don’t prescribe the solution but they do provide the space and opportunity for people to really think about what they need and what could help them achieve that. This could be a social activity, a yoga class, membership at the library, whatever that person needs.

What are the benefits of social prescribing?

The benefits are wide and include a better quality of life, increased confidence, better fitness, learning new skills and improved emotional wellbeing. Another huge benefit to us all is that social prescribing can reduce patient’s reliance on the NHS, therefore easing pressure on GP’s and A & E departments.

Who can benefit from social prescribing?

So many people are benefiting and could benefit. It is a way for people to access a variety of support some of which the doctors/nurses are not equipped to provide or it is not appropriate for them to provide. Laura Westwick a social prescriber from Bromley in London says ‘Patients often describe a bit of a black hole when they’ve finished hospital treatment and then they’re back home. They don’t know what to do to move forward and pick up their life. We’re kind of a stepping stone to help people decide what they want and how they want it.’ https://www.bhf.org.uk/heart-matters-magazine/wellbeing/social-prescribing

Social prescribing in Suffolk?

There are various social prescribing projects being rolled out across the county. Haverhill for example runs a ‘LifeLink’, which aims to connect residents to community activities. Lifelink Coordinators work with individuals across six hourly sessions to help you build your own personal action plan. To get involved contact Haverhill Lifelink directly or talk to your GP.

For more info contact info@haverhill-lifelink.co.uk or Telephone 07967 670602 /07967 670592

So, what is social prescribing and what does it mean for Suffolk?

Thanks to Public Health England for the use of their image.

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