The pilot programme 2022-23

The first cohort of Social Prescribing Innovators - 2022/23

12 projects from across London formed the first cohort of Social Prescribing (SP) Innovators

  • Project teams included small social prescribing groups working in and collaborating across Primary Care Networks (PCNs), GP practices, Local Authorities and voluntary and community sector (VCSE) organizations. 
  • The participants received six months of Quality Improvement training, coaching and support, as well as a share of £120,000 in funding to find innovative solutions to local challenges to social prescribing services. 
  • Projects addressed challenges around access to social prescribing, recruitment, retention of the workforce and demonstrating impact. 
  • The programme ran from September 2022 to March 2023 and ended with a graduation event on 31st March 2023, celebrating successes. 
  • We held a Social Prescribing Innovators Programme Showcase event on the 16th May 2023 to share impacts and learnings. 
  • We are continuing to support participants to ensure their project has sustainability.

The impact of the pilot programme

SPIP recognised the importance of empowering our social prescribers as local leaders so residents in NCL experiencing the greatest deprivation when trying to access general practice were supported in a timely fashion.

Dr Katie Coleman, NCL ICB Clinical Director for Primary care and Clinical Director, TPHC 

We have undertaken a qualitative evaluation with UCL to explore the impacts on patients, communities, social prescribing services and the system. View the Next steps for the Social Prescribing Innovators Programme for a summary of the evaluation, and you can read the research proposal here

A summary of the impacts from the evaluation will be published in November 2023. However, we’ve heard some amazing feedback already from project leads:

“I feel like this is one the most important things I have done in my career” – SPIP Project Lead

“We have been able to look at the challenges in our own projects and implement practical ideas to be tested – great peer support” – SPIP Project Lead

“It has allowed us to shape the service in a way that before would have always been like a bit of a pipe dream” – SPIP project lead

About the projects

You can download a PDF of all Project Impact Summaries, or the Project Snapshots below. Alternatively, you can explore the details for each project.

Barking & Dagenham Innovators Project

Aim: To improve access to social prescribing services for those in the community who aren’t able
to access via the GP referral pathway.

HBD Women’s Health Network

Aim: To proactively support cohorts to access social prescribing, specifically patients with material/social issues & wellbeing/mental issues, enabling social prescribing services to be more holistic.

Health Innovators Pilot project​

Aim: To engage unregistered populations in Hounslow, specifically migrants, asylum seekers and refugees using an outreach social prescribing link worker.

Camden Care Navigation and Social Prescribing Service​

Aim: To tackle recruitment and retention through the development of a voluntary role to support social prescribing link workers with admin and transactions around referrals.

Men’s project (Tower Hamlets)​​

Aim: To engage men of all ages in Tower Hamlets and find out from them directly how we can increase their engagement in social prescribing.

The Confederation, Hillingdon CIC​

Aim: To improve the quality of care given to clients with mild to moderate mental health needs/challenged behaviours by social prescribing link workers, focusing on ‘what matters to me’ safety for them and patients and connecting people to community groups.

West and Central Camden Primary Care Network

Aim: Increase the percentage of people from an Asian, Black, Somali and Arab ethnicity receiving social prescribing referrals and ensure they have high rates of satisfaction with the service.

A2Dominion Community Link Worker – Social Prescribing in Ealing

Aim: Tackling loneliness and isolation in older (65+) people from predominantly black and minority ethnic backgrounds in Ealing through social prescribing.

WCPCN Wellbeing Partnership (Waltham Forest)

Aim: Tackle the challenge of inadequate services for patients with mental health issues through designing more specialised social prescribing support for these patients.

Project Feel Good Now

Aim: To host holistic wellness events and promotions in multiple PCNs, bringing together statutory, health and VCSE organisations to evolve the social prescribing offer in City and Hackney.

My Community Social Prescribing Evaluation Project

Aim: To design a process to evaluate services with social prescribing link workers at the core in order to support recruitment & retention and demonstrate impact.

Walthamstow West Primary Care Network Pre-Diabetes Project

Aim: To tackle health inequalities and improve access to appropriate Pre-diabetic support for those facing barriers in access.