Implementing social prescribing - lessons learned from CLAHRC NWC and ARC NWC research collaborations


Session Chair:

Shaima Hassan, Research Associate, University of Liverpool

Session Presenters:

Mark Goodall, Research Fellow, University of Liverpool

Adele Ring, Research Associate, University of Liverpool.

Video segment presenters:

Claire Hendry, Rehabilitation Coordinator, The Walton Centre, NHS Foundation Trust

Suzanne Simpson, MND Psychological Wellbeing and Social Support Advisor, The Walton Centre, NHS Foundation Trust


Session summary:

Social prescribing enables health professionals to refer people experiencing social/economic difficulties to non-clinical services. Although not a new approach, social prescribing as a mechanism for promoting health and wellbeing (through the provision of social and economic support) has become a key deliverable of government and health policy. This session focuses on what we as academics, clinicians, local authorities and members of the public, have learned about the implementation and evaluation of social prescribing approaches through CLAHRC NWC research projects. We also present findings from a recent ARC NWC online survey of social prescribing in the North West region. During the session, we will be talking about a recent CLAHRC NWC/ARC NWC social prescribing workshop and an online social prescribing survey. Representatives from two social prescribing projects undertaken as part of the CLAHRC NWC Partner Priority Programme, will also share key learning from their experience of designing, implementing and evaluating social prescribing programmes during two video segments

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The skills and knowledge of social workers are a great asset to social prescribing. I wonder how many link workers have these skills, I have observed in another part of the country that the link worker job is pitched at less-highly-trained individuals, and at people with an NHS background, perhaps because GPs feel comfy with them. I think that there may be a danger of losing social work knowledge 'capital' as the interface between health and social care dissolves. I think this integration is a good thing in the long run. However downward substitution to lower paid workers will inevitably affect the quality of social prescribing.