Suffolk County Council launched the new Suffolk Social Prescribing Network at an event on 24 May 2017, attended by a wide range of public sector and VCSE representatives, including Community Action Suffolk.
The whole day event heard about a number of social prescribing projects which have been set up in Suffolk including Leiston, Ipswich, Haverhill and Kirkley Mill.
Social prescribing is described as:
“Social prescribing is a way in which people living with long term conditions can get access to a variety of support they need but that doctors and nurses are not equipped to provide.” Read more here.
The VCSE sector is seen as a major provider of these support services and activities. The afternoon provided round table workshops on a wide variety of schemes which support effective social prescribing.
The main point to take from the event was that there are many different models of social prescribing and those being set up in Suffolk differ. A key point is for projects to meet the established needs of the local population. In some areas this might require debt advice and support for those experiencing domestic abuse and substance abuse. Others focus on social isolation and wellbeing activities.
Social Prescribing is identified as one of the answers to the challenge of excess demand in health and social care and it is hoped to develop more projects across Suffolk. For more information or to join the Network contact:
Community Resilience Transformation Officer
Localities and Partnerships
Public Health & Protection Directorate
Suffolk County Council
Geraldine Dougall, Senior Development Officer – Health