05/02/2019 - Permalink

Regional social prescribing conference hailed great success

Related topics: Adult social care / Health / Partner organisations

Over 120 health and social care leads and organisations from across the West Midlands and East Midlands came together at a regional event as part of a national movement to shape the future of social prescribing.

The Social Prescribing – Going Beyond Services conference, organised by the Midlands Social Prescribing Network, was held at University Centre Shrewsbury on Thursday 31 January 2019, and was the third in a series of events across the Midlands to position social prescribing as a cornerstone for creating good health and well-being.  

Social prescribing - regional conference

Social prescribing – regional conference

What is social prescribing? 

Social prescribing is a means of enabling GPs, nurses and other health and social care professionals to refer people to a social prescribing adviser who provides the individual with motivational support and helps them to access non-clinical activities in their local community. A key feature of social prescribing is the time spent with the individual and the holistic nature of the support offered. 

Social prescribing - regional conference

Social prescribing – regional conference

Social prescribing conference

Themed ‘Value and Contribution of the Community in supporting Social Prescribing’, the conference focused on supporting and encouraging the development of social prescribing across the region. The event included a host of influential speakers from across the UK including:

    • Simon Chapman, Director of Personalised Care, NHS England
    • Bev Taylor, National Lead for Social Prescribing
    • Professor Rod Thomson, Lead for the Midlands Regional Network
    • Michael Dixon (National SP Network Lead).

Other speakers included researchers and a GP’s from across the UK.

The conference was attended by representatives from Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), councils, voluntary and community sector, community groups and GPs from the region. Practitioners had the opportunity to learn and consider ways that can help mainstream social prescribing in a sustainable way, as well as hearing about NHS England’s work to help embed social prescribing into daily practice.

Attendees also had the opportunity to take part in several interactive workshops, which highlighted best practice from across the region and gave participants the opportunity to share experiences and learn from each other.

Social prescribing - regional conference

Social prescribing – regional conference

Lee Chapman, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for adult services, health and social housing, who chaired the event, said:

“The Social Prescribing – Going Beyond Services conference provided some fantastic opportunities to learn about the latest on social prescribing and its impact, both nationally and locally.

“Whilst this was a regional event, it was also a great opportunity to showcase the brilliant work we are doing in Shropshire.

“Building on this event, we will continue bringing together people from health, as well as the voluntary, community and social enterprise sectors to continue the conversation and help spread social prescribing across Shropshire. This includes ensuring our community and voluntary sector are supported and appropriately resourced to enable social prescribing to develop and flourish within our county.”

To find out more about social prescribing in Shropshire visit www.shropshire.gov.uk/socialprescribing