Community media on prescription?

The government will invest nearly £4.5 million in programmes to refer patients to local voluntary and community services such as walking clubs, gardening or arts activities.

The practice, known as ‘social prescribing’, aims to improve patients’ quality of life, health and wellbeing by recognising that health is affected by a range of social, economic and environmental factors.

Evidence shows that this approach can reduce demand on NHS services: a UK study found that after 3 to 4 months, 80% of patients referred to a social prescribing scheme had reduced their use of A&E, outpatient appointments and inpatient admissions.

1 Like

@Bill_Best It would be interesting to hear about any community media projects and groups that already use some of these appraoches, and what we can learn from them in terms of practical support and development. It would be good to be able to identify examples so that we can look at them in more detail and put forward a development assessement of the additional value and impact that commuinity media makes.

1 Like

A problem is, @Rob-Watson, that there are only ad hoc stories of stations engaging with certain individuals and improving their lives. And the plural of anecdote is not data, as we know.

What might be useful is to design an ‘ideal world’ research methodology - given sufficient resources, how would we go about designing a longitudinal study with controls showing the efficacy of engaging in community media as an activity which promotes health and well-being.

Then once we have an ideal methodology, how can we either effect that or ‘downsize’ the research to fit the resources that are currently available.

I’d be interested to know a) if it would even be possible to conduct research of this nature and b) how that research might be conducted.

1 Like

We have a lot of potential partners who could help us to establish this research, giving it enhanced validity with governments and NGOs alike. If we thought about a scoping exercise where we brought community media practitioners together to discuss the range of the issues, identify who is already doing what, and what the challenges are that we need, this would be a very useful mapping exercise.

Do you think we could get an informal event organised before December? I’m very happy to start looking at something? What kind of venue, who would we ask to take part, and so on?

1 Like