What is Social Prescribing?
Social Prescribing is an umbrella term that describes a person-centred approach to connecting people to local Community Assets. Community Assets include community groups, interventions and services which could be delivered online or in person, as well as buildings, land and even a person within a community. Social Prescribing is a way of connecting people, whatever their age or background, with the community to better manage their health and wellbeing.
In December 2023, the Welsh Government published its National Framework for Social Prescribing. In the Framework it states that the Government’s Health & Social Care Regional Integration Fund will directly support the development and delivery of integrated care services which includes direct investment in Social Prescribing.
Does Social Prescribing Actually Work?
Estimates show that around 20% of patients consult their GP for what is primarily a social problem – the potential for Social Prescribing to reduce impact on frontline services is evident if alternative routes are more easily and widely available.
Variable evidence shows:
Social Prescribing reduces the footfall to GP surgeries by between 15% and 28%
An average 28% reduction in demand for GP services following a Social Prescribing referral
Reduction of between 2% and 70% in unnecessary GP visits
Reduction of 25% in GP appointments
What about the citizen?
- Studies undertaken by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) show that Social Prescribing results in a number of benefits which include:
- Increase in self-esteem and confidence
- Sense of self-control and empowerment
- Improvements in psychological and/or mental wellbeing
- Reduced anxiety and/or depression
What is the situation in Merthyr Tydfil?
More than 1 in 8 families sometimes or often struggle to afford everyday items.
The majority of households are cutting back on essential items by up to 50%.
1/3rd of all people in Wales have no savings.
A ¼ of all tenants are worried about losing their home.
The Cost of Living Crisis has meant that 43% of people in Wales have seen a deterioration in their mental health & a 38% deterioration in their physical health.
28% of children in Merthyr are living in poverty – that is nearly 1 in every 3.
The Regional Partnership Board that will receive the funding from the Welsh Government for the Merthyr area is the Cwm Taf Morgannwg which covers Rhondda Cynon Taf, Bridgend and Merthyr Tydfil
The Social Prescribing Link Workers in Merthyr are run by the Volunteer Action Merthyr Tydfil (VAMT) and are called Community Co-ordinators.
What can Cymryd Rhan do to help in Merthyr Tydfil?
We can provide some of the community assets needed – particularly those that don’t already exist.
WE CAN SET UP A CYMRYD RHAN BEE HIVE IN MERTHYR TYDFIL WHICH WILL MAKE A REAL DIFFERENCE TO CHILDREN & FAMILIES BY HELPING THEM TO IMPROVE THEIR LIVING QUALITIES AND WELL-BEING. WE CAN PROVIDE ADVICE & PRACTICAL SUPPORT & LIAISE WITH LOCAL AGENCIES TO HELP ADDRESS THEIR ISSUES. BY INCREASING SKILLS, DEVELOPING CONFIDENCE & SELF ESTEEM, MOTIVATING INDIVIDUALS TO MAKE POSITIVE CHOICES WE CAN REDUCE THEIR DEPENDENCY ON SERVICES LIKE OURS.
What support can we offer now?
Playgroup/Day Care/After School/Holiday
Baby Sensory Groups
Young Mums Groups
Parents & Toddlers
Adult Learning Programmes
1-to-1 interventions for children & young people (& their families) who require additional support
Safe spaces for families
Family counselling & cost of living advice
Activities eg. Loose Limbs, Healthy Eating
Tea & Toast Club
Breakfast Lunch & Tea Club
Grants for equipment & furnishings