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Social Prescribing

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Social prescribing has been recognised in Wales as an important approach to improve population health. In 2020, Welsh Government committed within the ‘Connected Communities: A strategy for tackling loneliness and social isolation and building stronger social connections’ to further support the development of social prescribing across Wales through four key deliverables.

The first of these deliverables involved mapping baseline social prescribing activity in Wales and the Primary Care Division, Public Health Wales, in collaboration with the Wales School for Social Prescribing Research (WSSPR), PRIME Centre Wales and Data Cymru, have addressed this with the full findings published in the ‘Understanding Social Prescribing in Wales: A Mixed Methods Study Report’.  

The findings underpin four key messages and makes a series of eight recommendations to advancing social prescribing in Wales. 

Four key messages:  

  1. A variation in provision of social prescribing across Wales provides both opportunities and challenges.  
  2. Social prescribing is a ‘growth’ activity, and expectations of it are high.  
  3. Technology is key to the future of social prescribing, especially as the pandemic persists. 
  4. Resources, as always, are fundamental to sustaining the social prescribing pathway.  

Since the publication of the Connected Communities strategy, Welsh Government have made a commitment within the Programme for Government 2021-2026 to introduce an all-Wales framework to support the roll out of social prescribing. The findings of our report and its recommendations will help to inform the development of the framework and expansion of social prescribing in Wales.