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SOCIAL PRESCRIBING


One Westminster established a Social Prescription Service based on residents’ social needs in April 2020, just as the COVID-19 pandemic was getting underway. Since its inception, our Social Prescribing team has supported more than 3,000 Westminster residents

What is social prescribing?

Social Prescribing is a means of connecting people to the Voluntary and Community Sector to support their health and wellbeing and occasionally to navigate statutory services. Examples of social needs that Social Prescribers can support include:

  • Debt and financial difficulties
  • Information and advice on benefits,
  • Community exercise
  • Befriending services
  • Food poverty
  • Access to learning and job readiness 

How social prescribing works

Social Prescribers triage people who are referred into the service. The triage is a conversation that looks at the person's social needs and considers ways of overcoming any barriers they may have as regards to engagement with services and activities.

The person develops a professional relationship with the Social Prescriber who works alongside them to improve their wellbeing and to prevent further difficulties occurring in their lives. This relationship includes ‘handholding’ the person into the services and activities they are referred to. The Social Prescriber continues to monitor the participation of the person in the recommended activities and services to ensure the person is supported with the needs that have been identified.

See our leaflet below for more details.

PATHWAYS TO REFERRAL

The One Westminster Social Prescription Service works in partnership with Central and North West London Mental Health Trust (CNWL) and Central London Healthcare (CLH). There are two pathways into the service. The first is through the Primary Care Networks. Any health professional in a GP practice can refer people with a social need to the Social Prescriber who works in that practice.

The second pathway is through the Community Mental Health Hubs in Westminster. Referrals via this route are made by mental health professionals working with patients in the hubs.

If you are a Westminster resident and would like to access the Social Prescription Service, speak with any health professional at your GP practice.

If you are a Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) organisation or a professional who is involved in supporting a Westminster resident, please encourage the person to ask their GP practice to be referred to a social prescriber. If verbal consent is given by the person, your organisation can contact the GP practice on their behalf.

CASE STUDY: A PLACE TO LIVE AT LAST

I am now in my late 50s and up to a few years ago was working and living with my partner in Westminster. A member of my family fell sick and I had to return to my homeland for more than a year to help with their care. Sadly my relative died. When I got back, I found my partner was living with another person in our flat. Still in mourning, I found myself homeless.

 “I stayed with friends - sofa surfing - and felt constantly stressed and unhappy. One of the places I stayed in was simply unsafe – it was overrun with young people involved with gangs. My life was upside down. There seemed to be no help on offer for me.

“Referred to One Westminster’s Social Prescribing team by a practice nurse at my GP surgery, my social prescriber has turned out to be a living angel who immediately told me, ‘It's going to be all right’. Not only did she connect me to an organisation that offered support in finding a home, but she stayed in touch and encouraged me throughout the long ordeal of visiting many completely unsuitable places, or worse, finding that somewhere I liked had just been taken by someone else. 

“At long last I got the keys to a lovely flat for the over 55s where I am rebuilding my life after the last five tumultuous years. I will never forget the help I received from my social prescriber who rescued me from total despair. To her, I send a million thank yous.

     Julie *

     *Name has been changed to protect identity.

A QUALITY SERVICE IS ASSURED

Our Social Prescribing team is made up of trained professionals, each one of them with a social need specialism. The Social Prescription Service is:

  • Experienced in person-centred approaches. All our Social prescribers are trained in person-centred disciplines
  • Uses updated and quality checked resources
  • Part of One Westminster - which as a CVS is an umbrella organisation for the borough’s charities – thereby giving social prescribers easy access to local organisations’ services.  
  • Able to communicate in a range of community languages, including Arabic, French, Hindi and Spanish – and social prescribers speaking these languages are located in GP practices where there is a local need for them.
  • Dedicated to ensuring that clinical supervision by health professionals is built into the Social Prescribers' support system to ensure a holistic approach to their care. 
NATIONAL AWARDS

NATIONAL AWARDS

We’re delighted to report that we’ve won one national social prescribing award and were shortlisted for another. 

We were joint winners of Positive Practice in Mental Health’s Primary and Community Mental Health Care 2021 Westminster Community Mental Health Hubs.   

We also reached the final of the National Association of Link workers’ Social Prescribing Manager of the Year 2021.

ANNUAL REPORTS

Check out our progress over the last two years.

Contact US

For more information, follow this link to our Contact Us page and scroll down to find contact details for the SOCIAL PRESCRIBING TEAM