Social prescribing

Led by Glynne Roberts - Programme Director, Well North Wales

and Nina Ruddle - Head of Public Policy Engagement, at Wrexham Glyndwr University

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“This JDT is focused on responding to the challenge of reimagining health services”

 

Background

This JDT was set up to develop a ‘Made in North Wales’ social prescribing approach. The focus was to respond to the challenge of how to reimagine health services, shifting from paternal models of care through the NHS to empowering people to take control of their own health care choices and engage them in local community activities. 


The key challenge is an evolving evidence and research base that means the approach is currently only piloted across the region and there are gaps in provision and approaches. It is not funded by core NHS budget and so attracts varying levels of adoption by clinicians. 


There are also varying levels of funding for smaller schemes in the third sector that have little impact if they are not connected on a regional level and capture learning, and so a key focus for this JDT was to establish and grow a Community of Practice. 



 

Work Includes:

The Community of Practice (CoP), led in partnership by BCUHB’s North Wales programme and through Wrexham Glyndwr University’s civic mission focus, was established in October 2018, with events held quarterly. 


It provides a wider platform for sharing across Wales, connecting with other CoPs, and is a partner in the Wales School for Social Prescribing Research. This is a long-term sustainable model that brings together key practitioners from across a range of backgrounds to develop, improve, connect and share social prescribing practice.

Over 300 practitioners have attended event and the community continues to grow. The four main priority areas that have been identified for social prescribing are: 

•   Education 

•   Impact/research 

•   Funding 

•   The principles of Social Prescribing 

The next challenge is supporting the CoP to grow, ensure we stay relevant to the needs of the community and creating a strong platform for engagement and influencing the commissioning, funding and support for social prescribing to focus on prevention.