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News from the Social Prescribing Network

Fri 15 Feb 2019

It's a bit late to be saying Happy New Year to you all, however, it really has been a happy start to the year for all of us who have been collaborating to progress social prescribing.  As January unfolded,  we had the long awaited reveal of The Long Term Plan, with the commitment to roll out social prescribing across England, starting primarily with the funds available for link workers to be employed.   Last week we were filming for ITV regions, on Monday this week a fabulous media blitz about social prescribing, and as I write this, the plans for new GP contract are now out. 

We now have a lot of digesting to do of all the information, particularly as we have the facts and figures to work with.   What is clear from all of the information from NHS England is that the idea of a place-based model of care can now become a reality, and as a collective we have achieved a systemic yet local architecture than can enable better use of assets in a locality, as well as build relationships instead of silos.  Fab - u - lous.

It would be great if we could all pat ourselves on our backs and say job done, but we know that in reality, the job is now starting properly.  The Steering Committee within the Social Prescribing Network are busier than we have ever been, so forgive us if we don't get back to queries as quickly.  We are also looking for investment to continue to run the Social Prescribing Network for free and enable everyone to have their voice. 

So what's on the agenda for the next few months?  Firstly we want you all to continue to build collaborations and relationships across the different sectors, and keep working with each other.  Secondly we have #socialprescribingday on the 14th March, which is detailed below - what are you going to do on the 14th March to raise awareness of social prescribing?  Thirdly we are finalising the behind the scenes work to get the international conference ready to launch.   If you have experience of a rural social prescribing scheme, then do read about the Parliamentary Inquiry into Rural Health and Care.  Please share your knowledge, it is vital we ensure rural communities are appropriately catered for.

In our next newsletter we will have a detailed digest of the new plans for social prescribing.  We know there are still issues to address, particularly funding flow, so be assured, the plans for link workers are welcomed with joy, but there is more work to do to ensure this is unilaterally sustainable.   

Carry on Reading.....