On Social Prescribing Day, I’ve been reflecting on how the past few years have seen a step change in how we think about health. Meeting people’s social, emotional and practical needs is increasingly seen as just as important as treating their medical ones.
It’s hard to imagine that even five years ago, government and the NHS would promote non-clinical approaches to enduring health issues, let alone invest millions into social prescribing initiatives.
Today, they are recruiting thousands of social prescribing link workers to support GPs and other healthcare professionals. These link workers will help meet people’s emotional and practical needs by growing their confidence and connecting them into new opportunities in the community.
We know from our own services tackling loneliness and supporting tens of thousands of people home from hospital each year that connecting people back into their communities and a personalised care approach isn’t just a nice-to-have. Always asking ‘what matters to you’ is essential if we want to improve health and wellbeing outcomes.