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Launching National Framework for Social Prescribing

Published : 11/12/23 | Categories: Influencing | News |

Following a consultation exercise, the new National Framework for Social Prescribing launched on 7 December 2023.

The new National Framework for Social Prescribing was introduced by Lynne Neagle MS, the Deputy Minister for Mental Health and Wellbeing, at an online event attended by over 350 stakeholders.

Social prescribing has been part of the health and social care landscape in Wales for some time now. It is defined in the Framework as a ‘person-centred approach to connecting people to local community assets’, such as voluntary sector groups and services.

These services could be delivered online or in person. People could self-refer to these organisations, or be referred or signposted by GPs, statutory services or the voluntary sector.

The Framework aims to:

  • Develop a shared understanding of the issues that lead people to seek help
  • Support local workforces to fully play their role in social prescribing and drive up skills
  • Improve the quality of current provision, and monitor and evaluate referrals and their outcomes
  • Address any inequality and inequity that may currently exist within social prescribing
  • Ensure that all relationships at the heart of delivery are safe and secure

WHAT’S NEXT?

Further communications regarding the Framework will launch soon, along with a skills and knowledge programme to upskill those working in social prescribing. Guidance for what is required from community services will also be published. Welsh Government has stressed that co-productive working will be vital to ensuring the success of the Framework.

A Wellbeing Partnership Board has been set up to provide scrutiny of the Framework and Regional Partnership Boards have been asked to nominate a Social Prescribing Champion and to feedback to Welsh Government on its progress. A glossary of terms for social prescribing has also been created.

The Deputy Minister for Mental Health and Wellbeing said:

‘Social prescribing is not new. Social prescribing interventions have been developed and established in a bottom-up way across Wales, with individual contracted providers and clusters involved in health and care, third sector and statutory organisations developing different delivery models. While we welcome this grassroots approach, feedback from our consultation highlighted challenges caused by the lack of standardisation and consistency in the approach to social prescribing.

‘To provide reassurance about the consistency and quality of delivery across Wales and to respond to the issues raised as part of the consultation exercise, our planned Framework outlines the model of social prescribing in Wales, helps to develop a shared understanding of the language used to describe social prescribing, and aims to ensure consistency of delivery regardless of the setting.’

‘It does not intend to dictate how social prescribing is delivered in different communities, rather it will agree a common vision of social prescribing in Wales and support its growth.’

THE REPSONSE

Clair Swales, Chief Executive Officer of Powys Association of Voluntary Organisations, said:

‘The National Framework for Social Prescribing gives us a fantastic opportunity to look at how we can break down the barriers to working across organisations, and to highlight the vital contribution of grassroots community assets to the wellbeing of people in Wales. The value of community assets and volunteering can sometimes be overshadowed by the requirement for statutory provision but I hope that this framework will encourage services to work together for our collective aim of a healthier and more equal Wales.’

Kieran Harris, WCVA Head of Health and Social Care, said:

‘WCVA is delighted to have been heavily involved in developing the Framework and associated work streams. The voluntary sector will be an essential part of the success and growth of social prescribing and WCVA will continue to work with Welsh Government, the Wales School for Social Prescribing Research, Public Health Wales, University of South Wales and others to support people and communities improve their wellbeing.’

Read the full programme.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Please contact healthandcare@wcva.cymru if you have any questions about this article.

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