Community-Enhanced Social Prescribing: Integrating Community in Policy and Practice

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JournalInternational Journal of Community Well-Being
DateAccepted/In press - 30 Sep 2020
DatePublished (current) - 2 Dec 2020
Number of pages17
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

The NHS Plan is introducing social prescribing link workers into GP surgeries in England. The link workers connect people to non-health resources in the community and voluntary sector, with the aim of meeting individual needs beyond the capacity of the NHS. Social prescribing models focus on enhancing individual wellbeing, guided by the policy of universal personalised care. However, they largely neglect the capacity of communities to meet individual need, particularly in the wake of a decade of austerity. We propose a model of community enhanced social prescribing (CESP) which has the potential to improve both individual and community wellbeing. CESP combines two evidence-informed models – Connected Communities and Connecting People – to address both community capacity and individual need. CESP requires a literacy of community which recognises the importance of communities to individuals and the importance of engaging with, and investing in, communities. When fully implemented the theory of change for CESP is hypothesised to improve both individual and community wellbeing.

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©2020, The Author(s).

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