Hello everyone

Already the end of March and what a busy month it has been for all of us! 
We started the month with the Social Prescribing Show from NASP at the start of Social Prescribing week and ended with our 4th International Social Prescribing Network Conference on the 10th-11th March and our 3rd Social Prescribing Network Awards.  The conference was packed full of speakers and sessions, all of which have been recorded.  A huge thank you to everyone who was involved in the conference, we had 560 delegates sharing their knowledge from around the world.  If you attended the conference and want to catch up on any sessions then all recordings are now available on the Oxford Abstracts platform for you to view - just log back into the platform and click on different sessions on the programme. 

For those of you who have requested a CPD certificate, they will be available in the next few weeks after CPD UK have completed their review of the conference materials. You can request your CPD certificate by emailing us at

If you were unable to attend the conference you can purchase access to all the recorded sessions for £40 here and in case you can't decide whether to purchase access or not, here is a short clip from Sir Michael Marmots' rousing keynote.

There were many highlights from the conference but for me and perhaps many others, I was very moved by our speakers, Daz Dooler and Jo Gomersall who spoke with Debs Teale.  All three of them said that they wouldn't be here without social prescribing as all of them had thought about ending their lives.   We have some really challenging times in social prescribing but I carry those words with me knowing that the more we can work together, the more lives we can support and dare I say save.

In this month's newsletter, there are some fantastic resources that were released recently, including a competency framework for link workers by NHS England and NHS Improvement, and the information standard from the PRSB.  If you are involved in any way with maternity, children or young people's social prescribing, please take some time to fill in the national survey 
here to help get a snapshot of activity in this area.

Keep social prescribing!

Co-Chair, Social Prescribing Network


Understanding food related issues for link workers course                                                                    
We are over halfway through delivering our free, CPD certified, 'Understanding food-related issues for link workers' courses thanks to AIM Foundation funding.  We have loved running the courses and we learn something new from every group which has allowed us to update our resource packs and given us a long wish list of future topics we hope to cover.

As part of evaluating the course, we have been asking participants to complete a pre and post-course survey. We are very happy to say that 96% of participants rated the quality of the course as very good or excellent and that 78% of participants were very likely or extremely likely to recommend this course to colleagues. Participants have also reported:
  • a 45% increase in confidence in making positive food and lifestyle choices to support their own health
  • a 67% increase in confidence in understanding the signs and impact of malnutrition 
  • a 63% increase in confidence in opening up conversations with clients who may be experiencing food poverty
The course is now also available to Health and Wellbeing Coaches and Care Navigators. We only have three courses left  so make sure you register online.
Maternity, Children and Young People's Social Prescribing in England - National Survey                                     
Please complete an insight survey for the National Academy for Social Prescribing, on behalf of NHS England and NHS Improvement.
This aims to report on the current scale and scope of social prescribing services for maternity, children and young people, and to inform link worker workforce development in the immediate term. Responses are invited from anyone involved in the planning, commissioning or delivery of these services, by 11th April.


You can find out more and complete the survey here. The survey should take no more than 15 minutes to complete.  

3rd Social Prescribing Network Awards

Once again the Social Prescribing Network Awards hosted with Chamberlain Dunn and the College of Medicine was inspiring and uplifting, it is truly wonderful to hear from so many fantastic projects and people.  As with every year, our judges have a difficult time selecting a winner, if you check out the videos to see the finalists and winners you'll see why! 

Thank you to our awards sponsors Viridian, The Conservation Volunteers & Peoples Postcode Lottery, NHS England and NHS Improvement Personalsied Care Group, Elemental, Simply Connect and National Acdemy for Social Prescribing.


NHS London Violence Reduction Programme Social Prescribing pathway

The pathway will support both clinical and non-clinical staff, providing training and educational support material to increase knowledge, skills and attitudes of healthcare staff in identifying and referring individuals to the right avenue of support.

The London Violence Reduction Programme has developed a new Social Prescribing Pathway for children and young people at risk of violence for implementation within primary care. The pathway is designed to support local systems to deliver their own social prescribing model for those at risk of or impacted by violence within their community. 

You can read the full report here.  Signing up to the NHS London Violence Reduction Bulletin is available here.

NEW! Grey literature database and social prescribing research database   

The world of social prescribing is constantly moving and developing with new reports and evaluations being published regularly. Earlier this month we announced the first open access archive of grey literature for social prescribing.  A Google sheet  (view here), will be updated each month with any reports, guides, evaluations that we can find relating to social prescribing.  If you are a researcher or commissioner looking for information, then you will be able to download the google sheet and search through it yourself.  We are not assessing the quality of the inputs,  just archiving them in one place. 

If you have a report or evaluation you would like us to consider sharing via our newsletter and adding to our archive, you can submit it here. Please note that they must be available to view online.  You may have reports from previous evaluations or projects, so again please submit them to us for the archive. There is no geographical restriction to the archive, so please submit reports from wherever you are in the world!

We also want to document what research projects are being funded in social prescribing  - if you are grant-funded or have been grant-funded in the past please let us know.  As we build up this database you will be able to see what research has already been funded or commissioned and which research groups are involved. The information will be freely available via a Google sheet on our website. If you would like your research to be listed, please fill in a submission form.

Resources & Events

Social Prescribing Information Standard
The Professional Record Standards Body has published the Social Prescribing Standard which will enable the sharing and recording of information for the whole patient journey, from initial referral, throughout the period of social prescribing and the message back to the referrer and GP at its conclusion.

The standard supports the recording and sharing of information including: 

  • The information required to support the conversations between the link worker and the person
  • Information to support people, show their healthcare is joined up and avoid them having to retell their story multiple times 
  • Information that can be shared with the person themselves, their family or carer 
  • Summary information back to the referrer and GP for the person’s overall record
  • Information for secondary uses, e.g. for understanding the scale and effectiveness of social prescribing services, planning, population health etc.
 You can view the standard and find out more online.

The standard is UK wide with involvement from all four nations. It was commissioned by NHS England and NHS Improvement and has an important role to play in the English national drive to widen the use of social prescribing to support citizen empowerment and personalised care, as stated in the NHS Long Term Plan

Social Prescribing Link Worker Competency Framework
NHS England & NHS Improvement have published the SPLW Competency Framework on the NHSFutures platform here. If you are not registered for access to the platform, you can sign up by emailing 


Guidelines for mental health & heritage projects
This UKRI MARCH Network Plus funded project, carried out between November 2020 and May 2021, saw an expert panel develop best practice guidelines for organisations offering heritage projects as interventions for people who live with mental health issues. This was achieved through a Delphi process, which utilised the skills of those with lived experience of mental health issues as well as mental health and heritage professionals equally, bringing together their expertise to create a practical and beneficial tool based on real-life experience. You can find further details and the guidelines here.

Surviving the Pandemic with Art Therapy

The Art Therapy Agency presents an online exhibition of artworks by therapists and clients. The show demonstrates the therapeutic benefits of art-making as a coping mechanism during the pandemic, both for clients and therapists. This exhibition explores some of the feelings that the pandemic has brought up from the diary of a 6-year old child who is trying to make sense of the Coronavirus to a therapist’s murderous thoughts about her neighbours. The artists use their artwork to express their feelings of grief, anger, frustration, sadness, loneliness and isolation and share their thoughts on how making art has helped them to cope throughout this difficult time. 

You can view the exhibit and find out more here. You can also view a short video about the show on YouTube.

Do you have something you would like use to share? Tweet us @SocialPrescrib2 or send an email to

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The SPN is part of the College of Medicine which is a registered charity in England and Wales (1145676) and is a registered company (07081291). The College of Medicine’s registered office is c/0 West & Berry, Mocatta House, Trafalgar Place, Brighton, BN1 4DU. 
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