A new report by PIF member National Voices explores the experience of the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector in social prescribing.

Rolling Out Social Prescribing, which launched on Wednesday 9 September, sets out the findings of research carried out by National Voices for NHS England.

More than 300 people gave their views through a series of interviews, workshops and online engagements between December 2019 and June 2020.

The research found the VCSE sector is supportive of social prescribing and keen to work constructively with the health system.

Concerns raised were not about whether to roll out social prescribing but how it can be done.

Some concerns relate directly to the current NHS rollout and recruitment of link workers.

These include the funding and management arrangements, role descriptions and performance expectations that are being put in place for new link workers.

They also include the measures being used to assess the outcomes of social prescribing.

Respondents also raised structural  issues underpinning successful social prescribing:

  • The need for funding to help the VCSE sector meet increased demand
  • The need to ensure that social prescribing actively tackles inequality
  • The need to invest in relationships and support ongoing collaboration and partnership

The report was launched during a live Twitter chat. To catch up on the debate, search #VCSESocialPrescribing.

Click on the link below to read the report in full.

National Voices