health & social care
local government
voluntary sector

Social Prescribing: Effectively Improving Health Outcomes

health & social care

local government

voluntary sector

08:45 - 16:00

Wednesday 29 January 2020

Central London

Early Bird Discount Offer

10% off all advertised rates for a limited time only. Discount available to public / voluntary organisations only.


This Forum will provide participants with the opportunity to support the delivery of personalised care through social prescribing. Attendees will hear from leading policymakers about the latest guidance and funding to support NHS organisations to direct patients to local voluntary, community and public sector support services. Delegates will also hear from leading case studies taking an active, successful approach to deliver sustainable models of social prescribing to successfully reduce GP and A&E consultation times.


This Forum is specifically designed for the Health, Voluntary and Local Government Sectors. Typical job titles will include:

  • Commissioning Managers/Leads
  • Chief Executives
  • Finance Policy Managers
  • Heads of Integrated Finance
  • Care and Support Officers
  • Councillors
  • Service Improvement Managers
  • Partnership Officers
  • Heads of Quality Assurance
  • Service Development Officers
  • Area Managers
  • Strategic Leads
  • NHS Service Development Managers
  • Project Directors
  • Service Implementation Managers
  • Population Health Leads
  • Heads of Health and Social Care

This Forum is also open to the wider public and private sector to encourage networking and debate.

Key Speakers Confirmed:
  • Rt Hon. the Lord Howarth of Newport CBE, Co-Chair, All-Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing
  • James Sanderson, Director of Personalised Care, NHS England
  • Linda Hindle, Lead Allied Health Professional, Public Health England
View the agenda and additional speakers

80% of patients who are referred to social prescribing schemes have reduced their use of A&E and other primary care services after 3 to 4 months of using these schemes. Individuals supported by social prescribing have helped to reduce A&E attendance by 24%, reducing some of the pressure on the NHS.

One of the key aims of the NHS Long Term Plan is implementing personalised care for patients to give people more control over how they are treated. The NHS has highlighted social prescribing as a key method to achieve the goal of delivering personalised care to 2.5 million people by 2023/24. Public Health England released their Social Prescribing: Applying All Our Health guidance in June 2019, with the aim of helping front-line staff to promote the benefits of social prescribing. Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprises (VCSE) can apply for funding from the Health and Wellbeing Fund to expand the social prescribing services that they offer.

It was announced in October 2019 that the Government has set up a new initiative to encourage social prescribing activities across the UK, The National Academy for Social Prescribing. This independence academy will receive £5 million in government funding to help improve social prescribing services, increase awareness of the benefits and social prescribing and share best practice models. The academy has been set up in partnership with government, Sport England, Arts Council England and the voluntary sector.

Public Health England published a report on the Effectiveness of Social Prescribing in July 2019 which looked at the impact that it has had on primary care and patients overall health. The report concluded that without better quality evidence it is hard to know what the effectiveness of social prescribing will be, leaving the debate very much open for discussion. Although research into the overarching impact of social prescribing is scarce, NHS England have committed to providing 1,000 additional link workers by 2021 with the aim of encouraging social prescribing.

With the NHS being stretched to its limits, it is now even more important that the health sector is fully taking advantage of social prescribing schemes to provide extra support for individuals to reduce the strain on NHS services. In order to fully take advantage of social prescribing services, health services need to implement cultural and structural changes that embrace the ethos of personalised care for all patients.


Registration, Refreshments and Networking


Chair's Welcome Address

Professor Helen Chatterjee, Professor of Biology, University College London (CONFIRMED)


Morning Keynote: Understanding the Impact that Social Prescribing Will Have on Ensuring Personalised Care for Patients

  • Outlining the impact that the rise of social prescribing will have on helping the NHS to meet goals set out within the long term plan to make personalised care ‘business as usual’
  • Understanding the progress made by the NHS to employ more than 1,000 Social Prescribing link workers by the end of 2021 with the aim of connecting patients with the wider community
  • Highlighting how more personalised health care will allow patients to have more control and choice over their treatment and allow them to utilise social prescribing activities
  • Sharing guidance on how to effectively embed social prescribing link workers into primary care networks with the aim of providing additional capacity into multi-disciplinary teams
  • Exploring how the NHS should be working with local charities and local governments to encourage alternative health and social care support in local communities

James Sanderson, Director of Personalised Care, NHS England (CONFIRMED)


Special Keynote: Creating Effective Social Prescribing Referrals Through Understanding the Needs of Local Communities

  • Outlining the core principles of social prescribing for healthcare professionals, including how it will allow patients to have more control over their care and promote health and wellbeing for everyone
  • Understanding the steps that front-line health professionals can take to adopt a person-centred approach to patient care and work with local link workers to discover the types of local services available to patients
  • Taking action to implement social prescribing services from a managerial standpoint by encouraging collaborative relations between health care workers and link workers
  • Exploring how strategic leaders can look at the professional development of their workforce to ensure that they are implementing high quality social prescribing interventions
  • Discussing what health care organisations should be doing to understand the needs of their local community and how this can help them to understand the possible rewards to their patients of utilising social prescribing

Linda Hindle, Lead Allied Health Professional, Public Health England (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Case Study: Effectively Utilising Local Social Prescribing Partnerships to Managing Long Term Conditions

  • Outlining the Ways to Wellness model, a social prescribing service supporting up to 10,000 people with long-term conditions, enabled by a commitment of £1.65 million investment through a Social Impact Bond
  • Discussing how Ways to Wellness works with 17 GP practices across Newcastle to help refer patients with long-term conditions to a link worker who will establish a relationship with patients in order to connect them with appropriate community and voluntary groups
  • Sharing guidance on how Ways to Wellness was able to overcome challenges such as gaining funding from the NHS for an innovate outcomes-based programme
  • Exploring how securing funding has allowed Ways to Wellness to boost their services and create a structure to work with other health care services
  • Understanding how the services provided by Ways to Wellness help individuals to take control over their care and learn how to self-manage their conditions to relieve some strain from traditional health services

Tara Case, Chief Executive, Ways to Wellness (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Implementing a Social Prescribing Gateway to Encourage Health Services to Utilise the Voluntary Sector

  • Exploring how the Rotherham Social Prescribing Service brings together more than 20 local voluntary organisations to provide services to individuals with complex long-term conditions and frequent primary care users
  • Discussing the outcomes of implementing the Rotherham Social Prescribing Services, including 17% reduction in A&E attendance, and over £600,000 estimated return on investment
  • Understanding the importance of establishing a local multi-agency coordination and oversight group to coordinate between the voluntary sector providers, NHS services and local commissioners
  • Outlining how social prescribing in Rotherham has helped to create resilient individuals who are capable of self-managing long term conditions with the aim of creating a better quality of life for all and being more cost efficient for the NHS

Janet Wheatley, Chief Executive, Voluntary Action Rotherham (invited)


Case Study: Establishing a Social Prescribing Hub to Increase the Impact of Community Services

  • Outlining how the Forest of Dean District Council and Gloucestershire CCG worked together to establish a successful social prescribing hub by working with local voluntary sector organisations
  • Highlighting how this hub gained funding from the government’s Challenge Fund to help expand this service to help all GP surgeries within the region
  • Examining how the hub helped improve the quality of life for local residents by providing services that went beyond the direct medical needs of patients by challenging issues such as loneliness and bereavement
  • Exploring the success of this project and understanding how this hub has been rolled out to all GP and primary care services within the area

Gary Deighton, Social Prescription Hub Coordinator, Forest of Dean District Council (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Lunch and Networking


Afternoon Keynote: Outlining the Current Landscape of Social Prescribing within the UK

  • Understanding the impact that the arts can have on treating people’s mental and physical health through social prescribing
  • Highlighting the work of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing in supporting and promoting the applications of the arts in helping long term health conditions and removing the pressure from the NHS
  • Outlining the importance of partnership and collaborative working to ensure the successful implementation of social prescribing programmes
  • Examining the current challenges facing the expansion of social prescribing including the lack of funding for third sector organisations

Rt Hon. the Lord Howarth of Newport CBE, Co-Chair,All-Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing (CONFIRMED)


Special Keynote: Understanding what Local Authorities can do to Encourage Personalised Health and Social Care

  • Exploring how councils can implement a culture of personalisation to provide outstanding care and increased choice for patients in need of health services
  • Understanding how councils can work closely with the NHS, other councils and community organisations to improve health and social care integration to provide personalised care
  • Highlighting the key components of personalisation from the Think Local Act Personal (TLAP) partnership agreement and how implementing these can improve the quality of life for all individuals
  • Sharing best practice examples of how local authorities can effectively work with other organisations to implement social prescribing activities within their region

Cllr Paulette Hamilton, Vice-Chair of the Community Wellbeing Board, Local Government Association (invited)


Special Keynote: Outlining the Future of Social Prescribing in the UK

  • Assessing the journey of social prescribing in the UK so far and how the concept has evolved to help combat the barriers to creating person centred support within the health sector
  • Understanding what needs to be done to help create sustainable funding for social prescribing provisions across the UK
  • Highlighting how social prescribing can help to reduce the demand on healthcare services from individuals with long-term conditions and the impact it could have on the NHS in the future
  • Sharing how the UK can look to embed social prescribing into health and social care services by learning from best practice examples and working in partnership with the voluntary sector

Dr Marie Polley, CO-Chair and Founder, The Social Prescribing Network (invited)


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Case Study: Establishing Direct GP Referral Pathways to Utilise Social Prescribing

  • Outlining how East Riding of Yorkshire Council was able to establish a partnership between local GP surgeries and leisure centres as a way of ensuring local residents are able to make long-term lifestyle changes
  • Exploring how this partnership allows GPs to make direct referrals to leisure centres which has resulted in 900 exercise-on referrals being made in a year
  • Understanding the success of this scheme including 79% of individuals finishing the exercise programme and over half achieving at least 5% weight loss
  • Discussing how social prescribing has helped local health services to provide vital services whilst having one of the lowest public health funding per resident

Dr Tim Allison, Public Health Director, East Riding of Yorkshire Council (invited)


Case Study: Creating a Community Centre Hub for Social Prescribing to Improve Patient Access

  • Understanding the services provided by the Bromley by Bow Centre, including health services, activities, support groups and sports clubs
  • Exploring how the centre has evolved over the last 35 years to become a centre for social prescribing that supports over 2,500 people a month
  • Outlining how the Bromley by Bow Centre works with voluntary organisations such as Macmillan Cancer Support to provide extended services to more patients within the community
  • Highlighting how Bromley by Bow Centre acts as a hub to bring together NHS Funded health services as well as advice services provided by Tower Hamlets Council

Rob Trimble, Chief Executive, Bromley by Bow Centre (invited)


Questions and Answers Session


Chair's Summary and Close

*programme subject to change

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