Can Social Prescribing Benefit Health and Well-being in the Community?

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Social prescribing in the community involves health professionals referring patients to non-clinical forms of intervention, with the intention of enhancing the patient's health and well-being (Polley et al 2017). Social prescribing is based on the belief that not all patients' needs require treatment with drugs or other medical interventions but there is recognition that a patient would benefit if their social, emotional and practical needs were met by linking people to volunteers, activities, voluntary and community groups and public services. The purpose of social prescribing (SP) is to improve an individual’s well-being and support people to take greater control of their lives by addressing the bio-psychosocial and environmental issues that impact on their lives (Moffatt et al, 2018). The concept of social prescribing has the potential to benefit not only individuals, but also communities, by people getting to know and support each other. The Royal College of General Practitioners found that social prescribing was amongst the most effective means of reducing GP workload freeing up their time to deliver clinical care (RCGP 2018). Evidence shows an average drop in demand by 28% (Polley et al 2017).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe World Book of Family Medicine
Subtitle of host publicationWONCA Europe Edition (Published on the occasion of the 25th Anniversary of WONCA Europe, Berlin, December 2020)
EditorsErika Baum, Mehmet Ungan, Carl Steylaerts
PublisherWONCA Europe (World Organization of Family Doctors - Europe)
ISBN (Electronic)978-961-07-0307-5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020


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