Vicky is one of the creators of CLGdotTV, where she also produces and presents programmes. She has 25 years experience of delivering projects in and for public sector organisations including government departments, local authorities, the NHS, and professional associations. Much of her work has been around digitally-enabled innovation and improvement.@vickysargent
The NHS Long Term Plan commits to making nearly 1m ‘social prescriptions’ available to people by 2023/4.
In this interview, Sirinda Bhandal of Simply Connect explains that a social prescription may be offered to someone who presents at the GP surgery with wellbeing issues around, for example, loneliness or abuse or worklessness, where a medical intervention may not be the best solution.
She explains that NHS social prescribing depends on harnessing the resources of the local voluntary and community sector to deliver the prescription, supporting people with services and activities, including expert and lived experience of the particular issues they may have.
Covid-19 has been a game changer in two ways. It has exploded demand for these services at a time when voluntary sector funding has been hit hard, but equally it has changed the nature of the demand. With people unable to routinely visit their GP, support has needed to be delivered directly in their homes and communities, prompting a new model to emerge.
This has brought local authorities to the forefront of social prescribing, as the initiatives described in Kent & Medway, Croydon and the Greater London Authority, illustrate.