Social prescribing: from rhetoric to reality

This content relates to the following topics:

About this event

This one-day event explored the range of benefits of social prescribing, and how best to measure and evaluate the impact and outcomes. Pioneering local areas shared their approach, challenges and achievements, and provided practical resources for commissioners and practitioners to develop schemes in their own locality.


Breakfast workshop

Next generation social prescribing

  • Dr Brian Fisher, Vice Chair of the New NHS Alliance and clinical and strategy director for Evergreen Life.

Session one: Opening plenary

Social prescribing and the current NHS landscape

  • Dr Michael Dixon, National Clinical Champion for Social Prescribing, NHS England, Co-chair, Social Prescribing Network and Chair of Council, College of Medicine
  • Dr Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair, Royal College of General Practitioners

Whole system approach in Halton

  • Dave Sweeney, Director of Transformation and Deputy Chief Officer, NHS Halton Clinical Commissioning Group
  • Dr Cliff Richards MBE, Chair, NHS Halton Clinical Commissioning Group

Breakout A: Embedding social prescribing and self-care through sustainability and transformation plans (STPs)

Embedding social prescribing across the five London STP footprints

  • Shaun Crowe, Programme Lead, Personalisation and Self-Care Programme, Healthy London Partnership and Senior Manager, New Models of Care, NHS England (London)
  • Jane Barnacle, Director for Information and Technology, NHS England (London) and Senior Responsible Officer for the Healthy London Partnership’s Digital and Proactive Care programmes

Embedding social prescribing across the Hertfordshire and West Essex STP

  • Tim Anfilogoff, Head of Community Resilience, Hertfordshire County Council

Breakout B: Valuing community assets, building health creating communities

Local Area Coordination

  • Anita Cameron Smith, Head of Strategy, Isle of Wight Council
  • Sam Clark, Chief Executive, Local Area Coordination Network

Connect Well: the social prescribing project in Mid Essex

  • Sian Brand, Lead Programme Manager, Connect Well, Social Prescribing Project

Breakout C: Reshaping mental health support around what matters to people

Aims and outcomes of the Rotherham service

  • Jo Painter, Nurse Consultant, Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber Mental Health Trust

Supporting people to maintain their independence and to improve and maintain a healthier lifestyle

  • Jill Poole, Health and Wellbeing Service Manager, South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
  • Debs Taylor, Expert by Experience and Peer Project Support Officer, Creative Minds

Breakout D: Harnessing the potential of the natural environment to support social prescribing

Maximising the potential of physical activity to contribute to health outcomes

  • Dr William Bird MBE, CEO, Intelligent Health

Looking at the evidence around the benefits of engaging with the natural environment for people with dementia

  • Neil Mapes, CEO, Dementia Adventure

Breakout E: Enhancing self-care for people with long-term conditions

Macmillan's innovative social prescribing service at the Bromley by Bow Centre

  • Anny Ash and Bhaveshree Chandegra, Macmillan Social Prescribers, The Bromley by Bow Centre

Session three: Building the evidence case

How the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector can deliver transformation through social prescribing

  • Janet Wheatley, CEO, Voluntary Action Rotherham

Progress made in the mapping of provision and developing common frameworks

  • Dr Marie Polley, Co-Chair, Social Prescribing Network, Senior Lecturer in Health Sciences and Research, University of Westminster

Session four: Building the movement nationally and locally

STPs and social prescribing

  • Rob Webster, Chief Executive, South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, and STP lead for West Yorkshire

Building capacity in the voluntary, community and enterprise (VCSE) sector

  • Alex Fox, CEO, Shared Lives Plus and Independent Chair of the Joint VCSE Review