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NHS Property Services recently announced the transformation of 21 social prescribing sites across England, to celebrate Social Prescribing Day.
The sites have been developed to support the NHS to deliver on the ambitions of the Long Term Plan, which has pledged to refer at least 900,000 people to social prescribing services by 2023/24. The sites provide a number of services including mental health services, baby banks and wraparound services, sensory rooms and gardens, plus community allotments and kitchen space for local charities.
Social prescribing enables GPs, nurses and other primary care professionals to refer people to a range of local, non-clinical services to support their health and well-being – this includes activities such as gardening, cooking or art classes.
To deliver these sites, NHSPS worked alongside NHS stakeholders, construction and local organisations to redesign vacant space, improving the look, feel and capabilities which will enable excellent patient care.
Alison Davies, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at NHSPS, said: “As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the needs of people across England have changed. Many people are experiencing extreme isolation and loneliness, with a significant increase in mental health issues among the population. Delivering on the NHS’ social prescribing goal couldn’t be more important as we move into a post-lockdown society, and I am proud of our teams who have ensured we can provide a variety of additional services to our communities. We look forward to working in close partnership with our partners and communities, to ensure we can continue to transform NHS facilities that better support the public’s health and wellbeing through social prescribing.”
In November 2020, NHSPS and The King’s Fund published the Social Prescribing and NHS Facilities report which revealed how the NHS can carry out small changes to make better use of its estate to better support the health and well-being of local communities.
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