We are here to support, promote and develop voluntary and community action in Middlesbrough

Social Prescribing

What is Social Prescribing?

  • A mechanism for linking patients with non-medical support from within the community
  • Supplements the support a person gets from their health care professional
  • Recognises the social as well as medical aspects of poor health
  • Enables patients to access a range of social interventions to complement clinical care

What is MVDA doing right now?

There is a renewed emphasis on social prescribing nationally, regional and locally since the announcement from NHS England in its long term plan to provide 100% funding for a Social Prescriber in every Primary Care Network across the country. Read our blog post for more on this (March 2019).

Locally, discussions are taking place with key partners across South Tees including the Clinical Commissioning Group, Local Authorities, GPs and the voluntary and community sector.

We have dusted off the South Tees Social Prescribing Business Case that was produced in 2014/15 to help shape future thinking (see below under previous work).

As highlighted by NHS England, social prescribing works best when all local partners work together to build on existing assets and services. MVDA will be working hard on behalf of the sector to ensure this is the case for Middlesbrough 

We intend to facilitate a number of briefings over the coming months to ensure VCOs are key up to date on developments locally so keep checking back on our website for updates

What have we done previously?

  • MVDA led discussions with key partners around the potential to develop a local social prescribing service in 2014.
  • Funding was received from Public Health Middlesbrough and Redcar & Cleveland to develop an options appraisal and business case for a social prescribing service across South Tees.
  • A multi-agency Project Board was established, chaired by Dr Ali Tahmassebi to oversee the work.

What happened?

  • An options appraisal and business case were produced and considered by the three main commissioning bodies:
    • Middlesbrough Council
    • NHS South Tees Clinical Commissioning Group
    • Redcar & Cleveland Council
  • All three public sector commissioning bodies supported ‘in principle’ the introduction of a South Tees Social Prescribing service and agreed that it was the ‘right thing’ to do.
  • Although it was decided that the proposals as set out in the business case would not be taken forward, the two local authorities are pursuing a number of approaches to address health and wellbeing issues which include adopting some of the principles of social prescribing.

National Training Opportunity - Social Prescribers

After a successful pilot earlier this year, the UK's only Level 3 Qualification in Social Prescribing is finally here and the first open course is available to book.

A new social prescribing training qualification website has also been launched where more information is available.

Other perspectives

The Kings Fund: What is social prescribing?

Healthy London Partnership: What is social prescribing?   How to provide social prescribing services

Gloucestershire CCG: What is social prescribing?

Debs Taylor: The impact of social prescribing on people and communities a personal story

Social prescribing in Merton: The patient's story