Social prescribing - a new opportunity for infrastructure?

09 Oct, 2014 14:00
Join us on Tuesday 21st October from 1.30-3pm to talk about social prescribing and how infrastructure organisations are utilising it as a new way to support their beneficiaries.

What is social prescribing?

It is a structured process that links patients with non-medical support to improve their health and encourage them to make healthy lifestyle choices. Social prescribing commissions services that will prevent worsening health for people with existing long-term conditions and aims to reduce costly interventions in specialist care by linking patients in primary care with non-medical sources of support within the community.

A number of social prescribing projects are underway by Voluntary and Community Sector organisations – this is opening up new roles for infrastructure organisations as they are best placed to carry out such services. During this live discussion you will hear from organisations that have SP projects in place and those that are working towards establishing them. Alongside our panel listed below join us to discuss the following:

1. What opportunities does social prescribing bring to the infrastructure sector and how best can they be utilised?

2. How are infrastructure organisations building effective relationships with CCGs and health and well-being organisations through this process? What’s worked?

3. What challenges are organisations facing in setting up a social prescribing project?

4. What gaps are infrastructure organisations filling through social prescribing?

5. What are IOs learning from being brought closer to their community’s needs through social prescribing?

6. Can social prescribing work at a lower cost? If so, how?

7. Can IOs meet the needs required through social prescribing (for example, access to non-medical mental health care); which needs are arising in which areas?

Add your comments and questions below and feel free to get the conversation started by posting before the live discussion takes place.


Linda Jarrold, Adult health & social care development officer, Voluntary Action Rotherham

Linda supports the third sector to contribute to strategic development, service planning and delivery of adult services. As part of this role she has been the strategic lead for development and overseeing delivery of a ground-breaking social prescribing service for people with long term conditions which is co-ordinated by VAR. The service has been operational for just over 2 years and is evaluating positively with regard to reducing unplanned hospital admissions as well as improving the health, wellbeing and quality of life of patients and carers.

Sarah Morland, Development Officer, Reading Voluntary Action

Sarah Morland supports voluntary organisations to develop their capacity to deliver quality services for their clients and communities, including advice and support on: planning, developing and promoting services, measuring impact and partnership working. Sarah has been working closely with the two Clinical Commissioning Groups in Reading to develop a social prescribing pilot.

Lev Pedro, Public services senior officer, NCVO

Lev leads NCVO's work in practical skills for public service delivery to ensure that voluntary organisations and social enterprises across England have the skills and knowledge that they need to decide whether to engage in public service delivery, and understand the practical steps to be able to do this.

Lev has worked for many years in the voluntary sector, the last eight at Kensington & Chelsea Social Council, where he was involved in developing local consortia and supporting small organisations to engage with commissioning opportunities.

Jessica Harris, Project Manager, Cultural Commissioning Programme

Jessica manages the Arts Council-funded Cultural Commissioning Programme at NCVO which works to strengthen opportunities for cultural expression to connect people, enrich lives and influence change.

Schemes such as Arts on Prescription and Books on Prescription are established in many parts of the country, and a Museums on Prescription scheme is also being trialled. At strategic level, health providers are becoming interested in the use of creative activities to engage people and lead to better health and wellbeing outcomes. The Cultural Commissioning Programme is working strategically to support growth of schemes such as these.

For more details contact Davinder Kaur at
20 Oct, 2014 17:20
Hi! I have been running the RSA's digital social prescribing pilot, Social Mirror. I wondered about the panelists knowledge of/experience with/opinions on digital social prescribing approaches.


21 Oct, 2014 09:47
I'm researching support for older people in the community. What approaches do you use to assess needs following a social prescription (or does the prescription contain needs info)? Do you consider multiple domains i.e. health, social, financial, housing, environmental, behavioural…?
21 Oct, 2014 10:35
Hi both, thanks for your comments - I will put these questions to the panel this afternoon. Hope you can join us then.
21 Oct, 2014 13:10
do we just need to be on this page when it begins or do we need to register?
21 Oct, 2014 13:14
Hi Jennifer, Yes join us here in 15 minutes or so - at 1.30pm. thanks, Davinder
21 Oct, 2014 13:14
Hello we are planning for our initial meeting with our local CCG in Redbridge on Social Prescribing. It would be really useful to have information about things to keep in mind for groundwork needed before the project starts; low cost social prescribing models; capacity building support required for the voluntary sector to be ready for participating in the pilot and ways of monitoring the progress.

Thank you.

21 Oct, 2014 13:23
The CCG's in Leicester and Leicestershire are all taking different approaches in respect of social prescribing. Is there any intention to provide guidance for CCG's on how to commission and fund socialprescribing?
21 Oct, 2014 13:24
We are interested in the Rotherham model and grants element within the programme. To what extent has this been important for broader VCS engagement with the programmes?
21 Oct, 2014 13:29
Hello everyone, welcome ot our q&a! If everyone is ready I'll introduce myself, I'm Davinder, BIG Assist Community Officer - I’ll be hosting this discussion. Just a few things to mention before we get started.

Please use notepad/wordpad if you want to copy and paste - it will not work if you do it from word or another webpage

- If you would like your name to appear you just need to update your personal details with the ‘account’ button on the top right

Thanks to those of you that have already posted coments/questions already…to kick off would our panellists kindly introduce themselves (if you haven't already) and maybe give a brief description on the work you're doing around social prescribing and we can get started…