One of the Centre’s most effective responses to COVID-19, was the establishment of a multidisciplinary health and social prescribing team who began to actively reach out to patients, called Rapid Response Social Prescribing. Built on the Centre’s long held expertise in this area, people were identified using health data and local knowledge, as having additional risk of social and economic vulnerability due to lockdown measures.

In Spring 2020, social prescribing link workers from the Bromley by Bow Centre and Health Centres started proactively contacting people aged 9-90. (See the outcome of this work). Many required help for essential needs such as emergency food supplies and help with accessing health advice. They also needed reassurance and human connection during a highly anxious time when many people were isolated and shielding.

Now, a new report covering the period July 2020 to July 2021, funded by Bridgepoint Plc, uses the Centre’s new research to measure the change made by the service using our new people focused approach to outcome measurement.

In addition to the Centre’s long-established social prescribing service which supported over 600 people in the same period, an additional 435 people in crisis were proactively contacted and referred for social, emotional and practical support by the rapid response team.

  • Almost 900 engagement calls were made.
  • On average, local people scored their wellbeing at a low 2.7 out of 10. For context; a mean score of 6.9 was provided by the general population of Great Britain for the same period (Source).
  • Four out of five people were not previously engaged with any other service and without Rapid Response Social Prescribing were at risk of trying to cope alone.

Outcomes we supported people with included:

  • Improved knowledge about local activities and services
  • Trying new things to improve health and wellbeing
  • Access to food
  • Feeling less lonely

Clients said:

“I feel like Rapid Response Social Prescribing has saved my life – before, I was feeling very low to the point where I wanted to end things”.

“My Social Prescriber has helped me in every aspect of my life”.

Bromley by Bow practitioners are clear that the service improves the local health system:

  • It reduces reliance on GPs, nurses and other healthcare workers.
  • It enables clinicians able to think more broadly about the response to their patients (within the context of the social determinants of health).

Study the report which has long-term learning for social prescribing.

Learn more about our research.

We will be launching a number of studies over the coming months. Subscribe to the Bromley by Bow Insights newsletter to receive our updates.

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