#WeAHPs - Thursday 27th September 2018 8:30pm (GMT Standard Time) AHPs and Social Prescribing

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This chat is guest hosted by @HindleLinda @DuncanStephens9

Sometimes called ‘community referral’, social prescribing is the means and practice of health care professionals referring or signposting people to a range of local non-clinical services.

Recognising people’s health is determined by a breadth of factors (including social, physical, emotional and environmental), social prescribing schemes approach health improvement in a holistic way, helping people improve areas of their lives likely to contribute to their entire health and wellbeing, and supporting them in active engagement. Services linked with social prescribing schemes might include volunteer groups, befriending, gardening, arts-based activities, healthy eating and cooking schemes, or sports and physical activity. 

Social prescribing is already part of allied health professionals' (AHPs) practice, however there is no shared vision of what it means and how AHPs contribute, therefore the full potential of our contribution is not being realised. There are many opportunities to increase the use of social prescribing as a standard way of supporting people and communities. AHPs are uniquely placed across health, social care and voluntary sector organisations, thus if our skills and connections are used to best advantage, we can be instrumental in increasing the use of social prescribing as a route to prevention, self-care and empowerment.

NHS Improvement, Public Health England and the Royal Society of Public Health are working together to develop a framework to support increased use of social prescribing by AHPs as part of a holistic approach to health care and health improvement. As part of this, we are keen to understand more about current activity, attitudes, opportunities and barriers to social prescribing across the allied health professionals, as well as examples of good practice.

Whether you are actively involved in social prescribing, or still to embrace this approach, we would love to hear your views so please join our chat.

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