Social prescribing: new national academy set up

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock is setting out his ambition for every patient in the country to have access to social prescribing schemes on the NHS as readily as they do medical care.

Social prescribing involves helping patients to improve their health, wellbeing and social welfare by connecting them to community services. This can include activities such as art and singing classes.

The National Academy for Social Prescribing will work to:

  • standardise the quality and range of social prescribing available to patients across the country
  • increase awareness of the benefits of social prescribing by building and promoting the evidence base
  • develop and share best practice, as well as looking at new models and sources for funding
  • bring together all partners from health, housing and local government with arts, culture and sporting organisations to maximise the role of social prescribing
  • focus on developing training and accreditation across sectors

The indepedent academy will receive £5 million of government funding and will be led by Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, the outgoing Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners.