Social prescribing enables GPs, nurses and other primary care professionals to refer people to a range of local, non-clinical services.
NHS England describes social prescribing as “enabling all local agencies to refer people to a link worker”. Link workers - known locally as Community Connectors - give people time and focus on what matters to the person as identified through shared decision making or personalised care and support planning. They connect people to community groups and agencies for practical and emotional support.
Social prescribing particularly works for a wide range of people, including those:
The Connect for Health programme aims to do just what it says! It will assist individuals to find non-clinical solutions to improve their own health and wellbeing. This can include referrals to organisations to assist or support them to connect with their local community. The service can connect individuals to social activities, clubs, groups, and like-minded individuals in their community. The programme does this by offering a private face to face discussion with a “Community Connector” to explore what matters to the individual.
The telephone numbers for referral to a Connect for Health Community Connector are as below:
Dr Dean Dorsett is a GP in Ipswich and the Social Prescribing lead for the CCG. He explains more about what social prescribing is and the local Connect for Health scheme:
“Your GP isn’t the only person who can help you feel better. Taking care of your health involves more than just medicine, and Connect for Health can provide specialist support for non-medical issues that adversely affect people’s health.
“Our Community Connectors can spend time with you exploring what activities or what support could help improve your health and wellbeing.
“You can talk to them in confidence and they will able to give practical, helpful, non-judgemental advice on a whole host of issues.
“They will be able to help you meet new people and make new friends, access new opportunities, learn new skills and lead healthier and fitter lifestyles.
“This in turn will enable our GPs to devote their time to the patients who need help with actual medical problems.”