'Key to improving health of people with long-term conditions'
Last week it was announced that every GP practice in England is expected to join a primary care network by June under proposals set out in the NHS Long Term Plan.
Around 1,400 of these networks are expected to be formed and each will have access to a social prescribing worker by April 2021, NHS England has announced.
Social prescribing staffing plans, designed to free up GPs to deal with those who really need them, aim to provide patients with access to non-medical services, such as art classes, history groups and ballroom dancing to boost wellbeing.
The NHS predicts that social prescribers will handle 900,000 appointments a year from 2023/24 and it is estimated that around half of all GP appointments are not directly related to medical conditions.
"Social prescribing is key to improving the health of people with long-term conditions and reducing the pressures on an over-burdened NHS," said director of clinical services for Dementia UK, Paul Edwards. "In cases of dementia, families are facing increased isolation which can lead to anxiety, loneliness and depression, for example. Timely interventions through community support is the route to prevention, which is better for the NHS and for families."
Edwards referred to Dementia UK's specialist service Admiral Nurses as "at the heart" of the social prescribing model. "They help to provide links between families facing dementia and the wider community (e.g. through dementia support groups)," he said.
For mortgage and later life advisers
‘Northeners cannot put up with broken care system’
Chancellor Sajid Javid mulling IHT cut