Alternative approaches for improving health and well-being, such as social prescribing, are increasingly seen as a more progressive approach to improving people's health and well-being, with the potential to reduce the financial burden on the NHS.

With health and social care budgets feeling the squeeze while demand on other public services increases, the need to find ways to improve people’s well-being that are affordable and effective is one of Wales’ biggest challenges for public services. Business as usual is failing to deliver preventative healthcare that empowers people to improve their own health and well-being. Despite improvements, we’re yet to see the wide-scale shift to prevention within healthcare that’s required to lessen demand on our stretched public services as our population continues to increase as well as live longer.

Social prescribing takes a holistic approach to understanding a person’s health – recognising the economic, environmental, cultural and social factors that affect our lives. The model encourages health services to link people to sources of non-clinical, community based support for wellness such as joining an exercise class, a craft or musical group or a volunteering programme instead of solely relying on the traditional prescription of medicine.

Useful Resources