An elderly couple chats with their doctor.

The mission.

Increase rates of social prescribing.

NHS England defines social prescribing as:

“A way for local agencies to refer people to a link worker. Link workers give people time, focusing on ‘what matters to me’ and taking a holistic approach to people’s health and wellbeing. They connect people to community groups and statutory services for practical and emotional support.” (NHS England, 2019)

Hertfordshire and West Essex STP told us that they wanted to increase social prescribing rates amongst GPs and within GP practice settings. This audience was key to target as they regularly engage with patients who could benefit most from social prescriptions (particularly high or recurrent users of primary care services).

Our mission was to undertake research with those working in GP settings and use emerging insights to develop a social marketing strategy and implementation plan for a campaign.

Posters featuring doctors speaking to patients with social prescribing related quotes and insights.

The research.

Understanding the barriers and opportunities for GPs to engage with social prescribing.

Following initial scoping of local and national data related to social prescribing, we ran a short survey with GPs and other health professionals and further in-depth interviews with some of the survey participants to explore and understand their views and experiences related to social prescribing, and how to best engage them with the coming campaign. 

The impact.

The research helped us to produce a social marketing strategy (with marketing tools, marketing materials and evaluation metrics) to support Hertfordshire and West Essex STP implement a campaign to increase the uptake of social prescribing by GPs and GP Practices. This is supporting the STP’s strategic work to promote and integrate social prescribing into GP Practice work across the STP area. 

“Approachable, committed, attuned, and effective team“

An insight report opened on pages detailing the projects key insights.
An insight report opened on pages detailing the methodology of the research that took place.
64 GPs and practice staff took part in our survey
7 participants took part in our in-depth interviews
22 actionable insights
1 social marketing strategy and implementation plan