Social prescribing to take off in Scotland

Art class

SPRING Social Prescribing was officially launched in Glasgow earlier this year

24th May 2019 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

Scots could be referred to local voluntary and community services such as walking clubs, gardening or arts activities.

The practice, known as social prescribing, aims to improve patients’ quality of life, health and wellbeing by recognising that health is affected by a range of social, economic and environmental factors.

SPRING Social Prescribing was officially launched in Rutherglen Town Hall in March. 

The project is the largest cross-national social prescribing initiative of its kind. It involves 30 well established community led health and wellbeing improvement organisations across Scotland and Northern Ireland.

SPRING is initially funded for two years, with a possible two-year extension, by the Big Lottery Community Fund and is being coordinated through Scottish Communities for Health and Wellbeing and the Northern Ireland Healthy Living Centre Alliance. 

The initiative aims to have a positive impact on individuals, communities, primary health care and national governments. Over 8,000 people will co-create at least one social prescription and 96,000 interventions will improve health and wellbeing and overall quality of life for thousands of individuals.

John Cassidy, chair of Scottish Communities for Health and Wellbeing, said: “Social prescribing is a community led approach to health improvement and is concerned with supporting communities experiencing disadvantage and poor health outcomes to identify and define what is important to them about their health and wellbeing: the factors that impact on their wellbeing and take a lead in identifying and implementing solutions. It is an approach which is based on a holistic or social model of health that recognises the many and complex social factors that affect people’s health.

“It is important to think of social prescribing as more than simply a process of referral or as a method of signposting individuals to community provision. It involves building relationships, taking a holistic approach and engaging individuals at the heart of the process.”