Today we are celebrating Social Prescribing Day alongside the College of Medicine, the Social Prescribing Network and many other organisations.
Social prescribing provides doctors with alternative and more appropriate ways to support a patient, such as signposting them to complementary therapies, encouraging them to join a walking club, or joining a Knit and Natter group. Schemes across the country have proven successful ways to improve the health and wellbeing of patients and to take pressure off the NHS.
The International Social Prescribing Network said, ‘We know that at least one in four patients see their doctor for pure social problems and welfare advice. For this group of patients, social prescribing has been shown to improve quality of life and emotional wellbeing, mental and general wellbeing, as well as improving levels of depression and anxiety.’
Last autumn we spoke to complementary therapist Theresa Meekings, MFHT, who provided us with an insight into how she supports her local social prescribing scheme.
Theresa said, ‘Being involved in social prescribing means we can see the benefit of our work daily. We are regarded by some case managers as a second pair of eyes and ears, as our clients will tell us concerns that they don’t think to tell their GP, so we can encourage them to discuss this with their doctor, or ask if we can mention it to the HSCA to bring up with the GP on their behalf.’ Read the full article as featured in International Therapist (Autumn 2019, issue 130).
In the Spring issue of International Therapist we feature a Day in the Life of link worker, Ruth Tucker, and a guest column by Dr Michael Dixon, chair of the College of Medicine and lead for social prescribing in the UK.