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Social Prescribing- Strengthening the evidence

Why this research is a priority

Social prescribing has been identified as a nationally driven priority across the NWC and is currently being commissioned and delivered in a range of ways through the NHS, LA and third sector. It is widely recognised as an intervention that can potentially reduce health inequalities. However, approaches to social prescribing and interventions can vary widely in how health inequalities are targeted and addressed. In this regard, a gap in evidence has been highlighted around how SP may positively or negatively impact health inequalities.

About the project

The focus of the research will be to apply a health equity lens on how current models of social prescribing are being delivered in the north west coast region and how data is being collected to evidence impact. The research will involve investigating social prescribing planning, delivery and data collection mechanisms with a particular reference to the wider determinants of health and how social prescribing may negatively or positively influence health inequalities.

The project objectives are:

1. To review what processes and data are being used to capture SP outcomes

2. To identify any gaps in data collection and how data can be better utilised to evidence impact

3. To establish demonstration sites to illustrate how the different models being implemented influence outcomes, including impacts on health inequalities

4. To evaluate the longer-term impacts of SP on health inequalities/wider determinants of health

5. To produce learning to support evidencing the impacts of SP interventions

6. To produce learning to support SP commissioning and service delivery.

Two demonstrations sites have been identified in East Lancashire and include social prescribing services commissioned by East Lancs and Blackburn clinical commissioning groups.

Key outputs

Dissemination and outputs include:

Social prescribing scoping summary briefing

Summary of social prescribing focus groups

Public perspectives on social prescribing (Journal of Public health) (in publication)


CROSS CUTTING THEMES