Social Prescribing

Under Review — this page was due to be reviewed by 07/08/2021. The information shown here may be outdated.

What is social prescribing?

Social prescribing is about helping people find ways to improve their health and wellbeing by linking them up with what’s going on in their local area.

Social prescribing seeks to move away from a medical model and towards a holistic person-centred, or family-centred, view of wellbeing, identifying the root causes of the individual’s and/or family’s issues and tackling them head on, to connect them into community-based support and making the most of community and informal support.

What activities are included in social prescribing?

Types of activities are varied, but often include:

  • art classes, singing
  • gardening groups
  • faith groups
  • volunteering and employment support
  • walking groups.

How to connect patients with social prescribing schemes

For patients who have non-clinical needs but need support identifying community services that are right for them, patients can be referred to social prescribing link workers (also known as navigators). Social prescribing link workers spend time with patients, identifying their needs and preferences, wellbeing goals and then supporting patients to access community services. Anyone can link patients with community services, patients can also self-refer.

More information

More information about the NHS and social prescribing can be found in:

Area specific guidance for Islington

Islington Primary Care Networks (PCNs) have dedicated social prescribing link workers. Information on PCN SPLWs is available here.

In addition to the services listed here Manor Gardens Wellbeing Programme provides open-door access for anyone in Islington needing support to improve their wellbeing. During Covid-19 it is carrying out this vital service online and by phone. Anyone can ask for an assessment for themselves or a client, see the website for a referral form.


Area specific guidance for Barnet

See Downloads for a list of GP practices in Barnet, offering social prescribing.


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