The Alliance of Community-led Health Improvement Organisations

The Social Prescribing Project

The Social Prescribing Project will now be known as “SPRING Social Prescribing” with the new logo below.

The Healthy Living Centre Alliance in Northern Ireland (HLCA) and Scottish Communities for Health and Wellbeing (SCHW) are alliances of community led health and wellbeing improvement organisations.  Staff from both organisations have developed strong links over the past few years. Both organisations have recently undertaken community led pilot programmes in social prescribing in 2 locations in Northern Ireland and in 5 locations in Scotland.  This common agenda brought the two organisations together to consider how the lessons learned from the pilot programmes could be shared and applied across a wider range of communities in both regions.  

The evaluations of the programmes in each country highlighted they had a very positive impact on the individuals engaged in the community based health improvement pathways. The programmes operated in real partnerships with a range of agencies, including GP practices that referred individuals to the projects with social prescriptions.  It was obvious to all those engaged in the projects that they had the potential to address many of the issues facing health and social care services.

SCHW and the HLCA are made up of well established community led health and wellbeing improvement organisations, embedded in some of the most disadvantaged areas in both countries.  They are anchor organisations, respected and trusted in their communities.  They are in a unique position to not only develop strong partnerships with GP practices and other local organisations and care services but also to provide and deliver a wide range of activities and support to respond to individual needs identified in a social prescription  and social outcomes in personal health pathways.

“How Social Prescribing Works”

Social prescribing at its best is not a signposting exercise or indeed a referral direct to a community service/activity etc.  It involves building relationships, taking a holistic approach and engaging individuals at the heart of the process.

SCHW Consortium Model

SCHW has developed a consortium model to support groups of SCHW organisations to work closely together, to hare expertise and experience and to apply for joint funding.  To date the model has successfully attracted over £350,000 into SCHW organisations and around 25% of SCHW organisations have been involved in consortium groups.  A leaflet on the model has been produced and can be accessed here. SCHW Consortium Model

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