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We are the umbrella body for the voluntary and community sector in Southwark. We support charities, community groups and individuals through capacity building, networks and training.

The Bigger Picture

This page sets out the context of our social prescribing work in Southwark, by looking at the bigger picture within NHS and Government strategies.


NHS Long Term Plan

The NHS Long Term Plan states that “over 1,000 trained social prescribing link workers will be in place by the end of 2020/21 rising further by 2023/24, with the aim that over 900,000 people are able to be referred to social prescribing schemes by then….Within five years over 2.5 million more people will benefit from ‘social prescribing’, a personal health budget, and new support for managing their own health in partnership with patients’ groups and the voluntary sector.”

Click here to see the full NHS Long Term Plan.

Social prescribing: our vision for London 2018-2028

As explained in the vision for London draft report: “Nationally, social prescribing is supported by the Royal College of GPs (RCGP) , NHS England and the Department of Health and Social Care, and is on the agenda of The King’s Fund. In government, there is an All Party Parliamentary Group on Social Prescribing. Meanwhile, many local commissioners and health and care partnerships are looking for ways to develop or expand their existing social prescribing activities. Social prescribing also supports the GP Five Year Forward View. It is one the 10 High Impact Actions and is included in the Releasing Time for Care programme. The All-Party Group on Arts and Health conducted a two-year inquiry into the arts and health between 2015-2017. The report ‘Creative Health: The Arts for Health and Well-being’ contains a number of recommendations on how to utilise the arts when developing social prescribing.”

Click here to see the full report.

The Government’s Loneliness Strategy

‘A Connected Society, A Strategy for Tackling Loneliness’ outlines a number of ways that social prescribing can support the reduction of loneliness and commits to “improving and expanding social prescribing services”, with all local health and care systems having implemented schemes by 2023.”

Click here for the full report.

Southwark Public Health Loneliness Strategy

Southwark’s Public Health team are currently developing a Loneliness Strategy for the borough which will be an integral part of Southwark’s approach to tackling health inequalities and the development of the social prescribing model. There is a cross-sector steering group that will formally take responsibility for the strategy and its action plan.