Social prescribing

What is social prescribing?

Social prescribing started in Shropshire in 2017, working in partnership across health, care and voluntary and community sectors. It is also part of the  NHS Long Term Plan.

Social prescribing gives people time to talk, one to one, with a trained healthy lives advisor to come up with a plan of action together, to help improve health and wellbeing concerns and put the person back in charge of their life. 

Many things affect your health and wellbeing. GPs tell us that a lot of people visit them feeling isolated or lonely, or they might be stressed out by work, money and housing problems. Sometimes it’s the stress of managing different long-term conditions. Some people would like to make changes such as be more active, lose weight or stop smoking. Your doctor or another person that refers to social prescribing can refer you to a healthy lives advisor. They are there to listen to you and put you in touch with the people and activities that might help you to feel better.

Your healthy lives advisor might introduce you to a community group, a new activity or a local club, or they might help you find advice or debt counselling. They might just help you find information and guidance: a bit of inside knowledge on your situation or what local resources there are. They could even support you to create something new such as a gardening club, a fishing group, a ‘men’s shed’ or knit and knatter group.

They can support with losing weight, being more active or stopping smoking, if that is something you would like to do.  Social prescribing can help you to have more control over your own health and find ways to improve how you feel in a way that suits you. 

Studies show that people get better and feel better faster than those treated with medicine alone. And because it works, it’s happening more and more – including here in Shropshire.

We offer both an adults and a children and young people’s service. You can find out more by watching the video.

Children and young people

Social prescribing is offered across Shropshire for those aged 11 (in school year 7) and above. We would usually meet you in the school you attend or maybe in a community venue.

It is a non-medical approach to helping you feel better and find out what matters to you. If you would like to feel happier, make friends where you live, try something new or get fitter one of our team can help you. Your healthy lives advisor may introduce you to a community group, a new activity or a local club. They could help you meet new people, find information or access advice about an issue.

Who is it for?

  • Young people who feel isolated and want support to meet other people
  • Young people who feel low or a little anxious and may feel better joining a social group
  • Young people who have a health condition which can be supported through community activities
  • Young people who need support with support and advice on practical issues such as housing or money
  • Young people who need support with their wellbeing and education.

Self-referral form for children and young people

Complete the form if you are a young person, or their parent or carer (for referring organisations please continue to refer using your usual route or contact healthylives@shropshire.gov.uk for more information).

Adults

Social prescribing is available through every GP practice in Shropshire.

How do appointments work?

During your initial contact with your healthy lives advisor, they will arrange your initial baseline appointment. This could be face to face in your GP surgery or over the phone depending on your requirements and room availability.

How long is the programme?

You will receive support from your healthy lives advisor for social prescribing for approximately 3 months, after which you will complete a final follow up.

How often can I expect an appointment?

Your appointments could be fortnightly or monthly depending on what your needs are, this will be decided between yourself and your healthy lives advisor.

How long are appointments?

Your initial appointment will be up to 40 minutes and follow up appointments will be up to 20 minutes.

At the end of the 3-month period you will have a final follow up appointment.

How do I make contact in between appointments?

You will have contact with your healthy lives advisor at arranged appointments, however if you need to cancel or re-arrange an appointment you can do so by calling your GP Practice.

How do I access social prescribing?

 Adults can access the service through referral from their GP and certain practitioners in health and social care, the voluntary sector and other partners. The service is available to those aged 18 years and older across the county.

You can also self-refer to adults social prescribing by completing the self referral form on this page, or by calling 0345 678 9028 Monday to Friday (9am to 5pm) and selecting the self-referral to social prescribing option.

You can also email healthylives@shropshire.gov.uk with the subject "Social prescribing self-referral". 


Self referral form for adults

Complete this form if you're self-referring, for referring organisations please continue to refer using your usual route or contact healthylives@shropshire.gov.uk for more information.