Social prescribing refers to the idea of improving people’s health and wellbeing by putting them in touch with local networks and services, and increasing their active involvement with their local community.
Good social prescribing treats people in a more holistic way, looking at the “whole person” and taking into account social, economic and environmental factors before supporting them to make connections, this approach enables people to achieve more value from the system.
The NHS model for social prescribing involves GPs and other primary care providers referring people to a Link Worker.
Link workers give people time, focusing on what matters to each person, and looking at the bigger picture. They connect people to community groups and statutory services for practical and emotional support.
Link workers also support existing community groups and organisations (sometimes referred to as “Community Assets”) to be accessible and sustainable, by referring people to them and working collaboratively with them.
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