One New Thing

A Project Implementing and Evaluating Social Prescribing in South Tyneside

One New Thing

What is Social Prescribing?

Social Prescribing is about connecting people to non-medical sources of support. There is increasing evidence to support the use of social interventions for people experiencing a range of common health problems.

Why did we do it?

To improve the mental and physical health of people in South Tyneside whose well-being is impacted on in a negative way by behaviours known to reduce the quality of life or result in significant numbers of years of life lost.

What did we do?

We trained a number of Social Prescribing ‘Navigators’ and put them into local GP practices. The practice teams were trained to promote and advertise Social Prescribing as an adjunct to their usual practice. Posters and flyers were used to promote the service to patients.

GP referrals or self-referrals were directed to the Navigator whose role was to motivate and support individuals to make contact with one or more of the voluntary organisations and groups that exist locally. The Navigator used modified node-link mapping techniques to help identify the patient’s needs and desires and match them using a database with what is available locally. The Navigator and patient worked through a patient held record together and agreed a SMART action plan. We assessed a patient’s level of wellbeing on entry and exit from the service using a ratified rating scale.

What did we find?

The date captured over the 12 months showed:

  • 204 patients were referred to the service.
  • 138 new patients attended an initial appointment (68%). 68 attended one follow-up appointment (33%). 33 attended a second follow-up appointment (16%).
  • DNA rates calculated of appointments booked are 32% for first, 44% for second and 17% for third.
  • 64% (88) of clients booked an activity at the first appointment. The majority of clients chose a self-care course (34%) or a sport activity (36%). 75% of clients booked an activity at the second appointment and 46% of clients booked an activity at the third appointment.

Wellbeing score on first appointment:

  • WEMWBS* score on the first appointment ranged from 18 to 57. The average (mode) score is 42.

The difference in scores between first and second appointment:

  • WEMEBS ranged from 1 to 31. Mode are 6 and 11.
  • SWEMWBS ranged from -5 to 12. Mode is 1.
  • Australian ranged from -11 to 18. Mode are 0 and 2.

The difference in scores between second and third appointment:

  • WEMEBS ranged from 5 to 41.
  • SWEMWBS ranged from 1 to 13. Mode is 4.
  • Australian ranged from 2 to 29. Mode is 3.

* Warwick and Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale