Social prescribing

Social prescribing connects individuals (often those who are lonely, anxious or depressed or are struggling to manage their long-term conditions) to voluntary sector activities, support groups and community resources (advice on employment, housing and debt) to promote health, well-being and independence.

Connection is often mediated by referral to a non-clinical link worker who may engage with the person in a holistic, person-centred way or with a ‘light touch’, sign-posting them to community resources. The level of support provided by the link worker and the activities and support offered can differ between service models.

In September 2019, the ICS for Devon commissioned the University of Plymouth to support an 18-month evaluation of Social Prescribing programmes (SP) across its footprint to understand the impact of SP on the local health and care system and the potential for SP.

The  interim report (below) presents the findings on the project until March 2020, and reflects the situation prior to the pre-COVID-19 lockdown.

While the final report (below) builds on those in the interim mapping report, and explores how the commissioning and delivery of SP can be strengthened in light of the adaptions or innovations made under COVID-19.