What is Social Prescribing?
Loneliness and social isolation are recognised as pressing issues facing societies around the world, and can have serious consequences for individual health and wellbeing such as an increased risk of coronary heart disease, an increase in risk of stroke, poor mental health and increased likelihood of mortality. Evidence shows that people who frequently attend GP appointments are often socially isolated and require a social solution alongside of a medical solution.
Social prescribing is a way of linking patients or community members in primary care with sources of group support within the community, all via a Link Worker. Connecting individuals with local organisations and groups has potential to impact not only directly on the individual’s mental and physical health but also indirectly through increased social contacts, improved access to services and ultimately improved social networks within the community. It also provides medical professionals with non-medical referral options that can operate alongside existing treatments.