25 years ag0, in 1998,  the Bromley by Bow Centre, along with local GP surgeries in Bromley by Bow Health, pioneered social prescribing in East London. Since then it has become a national and international movement.

Social Prescribing Day, on 9th March is an annual celebration of the value of the service by The National Academy of Social Prescribing.  The day recognises the skill of link workers, local community groups and regional and national organisations which support people’s health and wellbeing.

What’s happening at the Centre on 9th March?

We will be celebrating social prescribing link workers and hosting local organisations and groups at a special edition of our successful regular ‘E3 breakfast’ networking event.  This will bring together link workers with community services to build and map local availability for the benefits of local people.  Join us 11am -13pm at the Centre. We’d love to hear what’s happening.

socialprescribing.bbbc@nhs.net 07496 283141 or 07928 809935

How it all started

In 1998, the Bromley by Bow Centre charity made one of its buildings available to NHS General Practice, co-locating a GP surgery within a community hub which constituted the first arrangement of its kind and helped is create the UK’s first Healthy Living Centre.

This arrangement enabled healthcare staff to refer people via link workers to the Centre’s services to help address social and economic problems that make them unwell.  This included helping local people find work, build skills, make friends, get active and get support with financial and housing issues. Crucially, this also freed healthcare capacity to focus on medical issues.

Social prescribing has come a long way

Since then, hundreds of UK schemes have been set up and have built evidence of their effectiveness.  Social prescribing link workers operate in primary care networks (PCNs), working alongside the clinical teams to get the best outcomes for patients.  It’s a big step forward but, more funding is needed for the essential local services that link workers refer people to. This includes many operated at Centre.

How to access the service for support

Ask your GP or practice nurse for a referral, or contact us directly in confidence. socialprescribing.bbbc@nhs.net 07496 283141 or 07928 809935

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