NHS information on SP

The NHS and social prescribing #

In the NHS Long Term Plan, NHS England committed to building the infrastructure for social prescribing in primary care and embed social prescribing and community-based approaches across the NHS.

This includes introducing social prescribing link workers into primary care networks (PCNs) so that every person in England can access a social prescribing service through their GP practice, starting with 1,000 new social prescribing link workers in place by 2020/21, and a goal that at least 900,000 people will be referred to social prescribing by 2023/24. This is part of the drive to universal personalised care that will see at least 2.5 million people benefiting from personalised care by 2023/24.

This is the biggest investment in social prescribing by any national health system and legitimises non-medical community-based activities and holistic support alongside medical treatment as part of a personalised care approach.

In 2022/23, an additional requirement for primary care networks to provide a proactive social prescribing service was introduced as part of the contract. This means that primary care networks must work with a population experiencing health inequalities to proactively offer social prescribing interventions.

Primary care networks can find more information about embedding social prescribing and social prescribing link workers in our PCN reference guide for social prescribing link workers.

NHS England delivers a support offer for social prescribing link workers and wider workforce. You can find more details of our support offer, including our Workforce development framework, how to access our online networks and community of practice, and other helpful resources.

Working with our partners #

The NHS England social prescribing team works closely with national partners including the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the National Academy for Social Prescribing (NASP).

NASP is an organisation dedicated to advancing social prescribing through championing social prescribing and the work of local communities in connecting people for wellbeing, and work to create partnerships cross-sector at a local and national level to achieve this.

NHS England works closely with NASP, including supporting programmes such as the Thriving Communities programme, a national support programme for voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise groups, supporting communities to ensure the vital work of social prescribing succeeds on a local level. The Accelerating Innovation in Social Prescribing programme, a partnership with NASP and Royal Voluntary Service, came to an end in March 2023. However, NASP will continue some of the work of the programme, including Skillshare and the webinar programme, and continue to work on social prescribing innovation with members of the community of practice.

The team also works closely with partners to deliver the cross-government Green social prescribing programme.

Resources #

Contact details for further information #

Email the NHS England social prescribing programme: england.socialprescribing@nhs.net

Powered by BetterDocs