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Today is International Social Prescribing Day! This is a great opportunity to share the success of social prescribing – which a number of our services are testament to!

What is social prescribing?

Social prescribing allows GPs and other primary care professionals to connect people with existing local services, which support people with a range of social, emotional, and practical needs.

At least one in four patients see their GP about non-medical issues – such as problems with housing, relationships, or social isolation. It’s clear that our physical health, mental health, and personal circumstances are all interlinked.

For example, an older person with limited mobility may find it difficult to leave their house, which gives them a higher chance of becoming socially isolated. Social isolation can be a cause of low mood, depression, and anxiety.

Social prescribing would enable a GP to connect that person to a local service like our Chain Reaction project, which arranges weekly activities and lunches for older people – offering an opportunity to connect with others and socialise.

What difference does social prescribing make?

We interviewed Dr Brigid Joughin, of Throckley Primary Care Centre, about the difference social prescribing has made to her practice and patients. Brigid is also the director of the Outer West Newcastle Primary Care Network and is a keen referrer into our social prescribing services.

Brigid was an early adopter of social prescribing and is very passionate about its positive impact! She shares her thoughts in this video.

The NHS Long Term Plan marks personalised care as a priority, with a commitment for at least 900,000 people to be supported with social prescribing by 2023/24.

We have a number of projects that use social prescribing:

Follow along with International Social Prescribing Day on social media with the hashtag #SocialPrescribingDay!

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