More than signposting: Findings from an evaluation of a social prescribing service

White, Caroline and Bell, Jo and Reid, Marie and Dyson, Judith (2022) More than signposting: Findings from an evaluation of a social prescribing service. Health and Social Care in the Community. ISSN 0966-0410 (In Press)

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This paper presents findings from an evaluation of a social prescribing service, undertaken between January 2019 – December 2020. Data was collected through interviews and focus groups with a range of groups including social prescribing managers, link workers (LWs), referrers (GPs and social work practitioners), clients, Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) agencies and groups. Thematic analysis of data was undertaken, and findings presented in respect of clients’ journeys into social prescribing; the support received from LWs; their onward journeys to VCS support. The findings highlight the challenges for individuals in contacting new agencies/groups and the importance of practitioner referral into and onwards from social prescribing, as well as buddying to support clients on initial agency visits. The depth of the LW role is highlighted, as well as the complexity of client circumstances, highlighting a need for ‘more than signposting’, and challenging the notion of self-referral as an indicator of motivation. Social prescribing has been positioned as among the solutions to the challenges of primary care. However, referrals from GPs were low and significantly outnumbered by those from social workers; this suggests a need to explore in greater depth the use of social prescribing by social workers, who have, to date, been absent from social prescribing research.

Item Type: Article
17 July 2022Accepted
Uncontrolled Keywords: Social prescribing; Link Worker; Primary Care; Social Work; Referral; Signposting.
Subjects: CAH02 - subjects allied to medicine > CAH02-04 - nursing and midwifery > CAH02-04-01 - nursing (non-specific)
Divisions: Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences > Centre for Social Care, Health and Related Research (C-SHARR)
Depositing User: Judith Dyson
Date Deposited: 20 Jul 2022 15:20
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2022 15:20

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