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Social Prescribing

Social Prescribing Service 

There are over 1600 Voluntary and community groups in Rotherham all of whom were keen to work with us. Together we came up with the Rotherham model of social prescribing. The Social Prescribing Service helps people with long-term health conditions to access a wide variety of services and activities provided by voluntary organisations and community groups in Rotherham. Funded by the CCG, the case management scheme brings together health, social care and voluntary sector professionals, who work together in a co-ordinated way to plan care for people with long-term health conditions. The voluntary sector runs more than 20 projects ranging from art, befriending and discussion groups to tai chi and the service has now been extended to those discharged from community mental health services.

The NHS five year forward view published in October 2014, quoted the Rotherham Social prescribing service as an ‘emerging model for the future’.  

The award winning Social Prescribing service is a Win/Win for everyone:

  • The public sector and the GPs benefits, as it addresses inappropriate admissions into hospital and reduces attendance at GP practices.
  • The voluntary and community sector benefits as it supports their sustainability 

And most importantly...

  • The patients and carers benefit as it improves quality of life, reduces social isolation and moves the patient from dependence to independence. 

In Rotherham, more than 2,000 patients with long-term health conditions, and at risk of hospital admission, have been referred for a social prescription.

An evaluation by Sheffield Hallam University’s Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research (CRESR) found that as a result of the social prescribing:

  • non-elective inpatient episodes reduced by seven per cent
  • non-elective inpatient spells reduced by 11 per cent
  • Accident and Emergency attendances reduced by 17 per cent.  

The evaluation found even better reductions in those aged 80 and under, and for those who engaged with voluntary sector-led activities over a sustained period.

82 per cent of service users, regardless of age or gender, also reported a positive change in their well-being within four months of being issued with a social prescription.

More information on evaluation of social prescribing can be found at