VCS Social Prescribing

The social prescribing environment across Southwark relies on good local relationships and strong networks between GP practices, social prescribers and community groups, and has evolved over time with many different types of support developing organically.

Early in 2020 two teams of Primary Care Network Social Prescribing Link Workers were established with NHS funding. By the end of 2021 there were 13 link workers in the North and nine in the South of the borough. The teams provide signposting, advice and non-clinical support to patients referred to them from GP practices, nurses, and community support hubs, to access appropriate community services and social support.  Self-referral has been suspended during the coronavirus pandemic due to a significant increase of referrals from statutory services for support with social issues, housing, benefits, low-level mental health, social isolation, healthy eating, and other lifestyle factors linked to health and wellbeing.

In 2019 Cordis Bright worked with four local social prescribing networks including GPs, community groups, local people and other stakeholders to design a model for social prescribing. The outcome of this work resulted in the Partnership Southwark Social Prescribing Review 2019.

[1] Partnership Southwark’s social prescribing review 2019 

There are many people across the borough who also carry out social prescribing type roles such as hospital discharge coordinators, community support staff and GP practice staff but are not always formally described as social prescribers. These staff advise and signpost people to activities and services and some have connections to Primary Care Network (PCN) link workers.

We are working hard to optimise the benefits of social prescribing for the Southwark population, especially for those with complex needs, within the current system and aim to improve it.

We’d welcome any learning or experience you would like to share either in person at the network meetings or via comments on this site.

To be added to the mailing list for the network, please email info@communitysouthwark.org, or call 020 7358 7288. 

Meeting Minutes

Minutes from SSPN meetings 2021/22

Taking Stock: Social Prescribing Scoping Report

Taking Stock: Scoping the position of social prescribing in Southwark Report is here - (Published 30 June 2021).

A Review of Social Prescribing in Southwark

This review explores: what is working well and what isn’t working well and where extra funds and resources are needed to support a more coordinated social prescribing model for local people.

Our Healthier South East London – Social Prescribing

Find out more about social prescribing in this video

Learning from the 3 Network Sessions

We held three network meetings in 2019, attended by people across the voluntary sector, public health and the NHS.

Learning from elsewhere

There are many social prescribing services and models across the country that we can learn from. This page sets out just a few of the best evaluations and pieces of learning.

Digital Platforms

One of the key points made during Network 1 was that we need to be careful not to exclude people through the use of technology.

Blog from our clinical lead on Social Prescribing

“Last week in clinic a patient said to me: ‘I’m not here about my COPD. I joined a choir after a lung rehabilitation course 3 years ago and I haven’t had any trouble from my breathing since.’

And what is social prescribing?

We recognise that social prescribing is a clunky term, but it is now being used and recognised by health and social care nationally...

About the Social Prescribing Network

The end goal of the network sessions is to develop a business case for future funding of social prescribing to bring to Guy's and St Thomas’ Charity in 2020.