Social prescribing is a way health professionals can refer patients to local services that support a patients’ social, emotional, or practical needs.

Social prescribing recognises that a person’s health and well-being are affected by all kinds of things such as where they live, the work they do (or don’t do) and their housing.

Who provides the services

The services health professionals refer patients to are often provided by voluntary and community groups. Patients maybe ‘prescribed’ gardening, sports activities, or other activities the prescriber thinks will suit and benefit a particular patient.

Link workers

Most social prescribing involves a link worker (other terms such as community connector, navigator and health adviser are also used) who helps patients access local services.

Most referrals are made by professionals based in GP practices, but not always.

Social prescribing is also known as community referral.

Learn more about social prescribing

If you’d like to learn more, the National Academy of Social Prescribing has tons of information about what it is, how it works, types of activities and so on.

NHS England has a list of frequently asked questions about social prescribing.

If you’ve had social prescribing referral, we’d love to hear from you. What were you referred to and did you find it helpful? Would you recommend social prescribing to your friends and family? Share your experiences with us by emailing [email protected].

Gardener man photo created by cookie_studio -