By its very nature, social prescribing is a mechanism meant to empower and enable. The main driver of the social prescribing link worker model is the acknowledgment that the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities are often dictated by a range of environmental and socio-economic factors. Social prescribing is all about holistic wellbeing and placing control of health with individuals, so they can save themselves.
Social prescribing link workers play a critical role in helping to reduce inequalities.
The Wren Project is a registered UK charity providing free, ongoing, 1-1 listening support for adults diagnosed with one or more autoimmune disease. Responding to increasing evidence of the autoimmune component to Long Covid, The Wren Project now extends its support to people with Long Covid.
A new training programme, developed by the Academic Health Science Network for South London Health Innovation Network has been unveiled to improve consultations with the millions of UK adults living with pain. Psychologically Informed Collaborative Conversations (PIC-C) has been co-produced with patients and one of the patient representatives who fed into the programme was Carole Robinson, who is a volunteer at Kingston Hospital and is a patient rep on many of the hospital’s committees.
Sean Phillips, Research Fellow, Policy Exchange and Robert Ede, Head of Health and Social Care, Policy Exchange
In this blog, Sean Phillips and Robert Ede from the Health and Social Care Unit at Policy Exchange explain how proposals from their new report, A Wait on Your Mind, could improve the experience of patients waiting for treatment, starting with a push to enhance patient communication through the NHS App to make it a front door for information and supportive services, including those offered by the voluntary sector.
New research by the Centre for Ageing Better and the Institute for Employment Studies highlights the challenges faced by employees with long-term health conditions, warning that more support is needed to help people manage their conditions in the workplace if the state pension age is to rise further. In this blog, Centre for Ageing Better Evidence Officer Amy McSweeney explains how the pandemic has widened the gap between supportive and unsupportive employers and what the government and employers must do in order to help people manage their health needs.
Last year, we contributed to a National Voices report that looked into people's experiences of being on NHS waiting lists. People talked about a lack of control and an inability to "get on with one's life". Some described "fighting" the system, and described the sense of being in an information vacuum for long periods of time.
Decisions in healthcare are for the healthcare recipient to make, excepting limited scenarios set out in law. Yet most UK healthcare-related bodies persist in discussing service user decision making under the banner of “shared decision making”. AIMS campaigner Jo Dagustun asks if this is this helpful, or whether it’s now time to ditch the terminology of 'shared decision making'.
I attended Day 2 of the virtual conference, Mobilising people to combat racial inequality: the power of voice. This topic matters to me as the disparity in statistics are stark and impact the engagement and feed into the culture of distrust minoritised communities may feel when accessing health services.