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Developing quality assurance for social prescribing

We’ve got some funding from Big
Lottery funds, quite substantial funding
to support development of quality assurance
for social prescribing. So I work with colleagues
from NHS England but also Scotland and Northern
Ireland and Wales as well, and we are developing in a process
where there can be a minimum acceptable level
of quality recognising the breadth across social
prescribing so some of the providers are very
small but there still should be some level of quality often
to protect the provider themselves, and so we’re doing that because
we’re a community focused charity, i’m an exercise physiologist
i’ve got interest and experience in that. So we are apolitical and we’ve
got this function of being provided funding by the Big
Lottery Fund and that will dovetail it in to the other
processes as you see through social prescribing via
the social prescribing network. So I think it’s important
to say that social prescribing has been working
for a long time and we’ve called it different things
certainly in the past I’ve run programs that you might have
called social prescribing but social prescribing
as this sort of industrialised scale
as William said earlier has just started over the last
two or three years. So two years ago the social
prescribing network started with a handful
of people, now it has more
than 2000 organisations so you can see the scale of it. Later on this year in July
We’ll be running the first international social
prescribing conference with people from around
the world. This is really grabbing
the momentum and I think it’s recognising that true
healing comes from you know a caring society, an integrated society
being physically active, being able to help each
other and we’ve just got to that point where most
people recognise that now has become a much
more coherent product. Do you know if you’d asked me
how confident I was around social prescribing landing
as a mainstream thing two years ago I would have
said pretty confident a lot of people think I’m
over optimistic but I think just keep going with optimism. Now I’m going to say 80%
I think the steps that NHS England have taken
are really bold steps, brave steps and you know
I applaud them for that and colleagues
throughout the personalised care agenda have done
a wonderful amount of work for us. I think more and more GPs
are engaged, the social prescribing network
is excellent. The conference that we held
at the King’s Fund was their biggest conference of the year. Massive support from Big
Lottery funds so everybody you would expect to see
supporting it is supporting it So this is certainly
the best chance we’ve had and the best
chance we’ll have. And I am 80% positive
that it will land just because I think if we don’t
people know the consequences.

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