Social prescribing

What is social prescribing?

Social Prescribing is a means by which GPs, nurses and other health and care professionals can refer people to a range of local, non-clinical services to support an individual’s good health and overall well-being.

Sometimes referred to as a community referral, social prescribing seeks to address peoples needs in a holistic way, within a community. It is about connecting people to sources of help and support within their local community.

Social prescribing encourages people to be better informed, to understand more about their health, enabling them to be more proactive in shaping their own personal well-being.

Examples of things which may impact peoples health

  • Chosen lifestyle – including diet, exercise, smoking, alcohol, sleep patterns
  • Family and wider social support
  • Education, language and skills
  • Access to care
  • Housing
  • Income and jobs
  • Safety
  • Mental Wellbeing

For Patients, this means your GP or healthcare professional can connect you with Social, Physical and other community based groups and activities which will help provide practical and emotional support, leading to better health and wellbeing.

Examples of the variety of activities you might be linked with include volunteering, arts and crafts, group learning, gardening, befriending, cookery, healthy eating advice and a range of physical activities and support groups.

Referral to social prescribing pathways.

Referral to social prescribing support can be made through your GP or other healthcare professionals.

Date published: 22nd June, 2023
Date last updated: 5th October, 2023