Social Prescribing

Social prescribing is a means of enabling primary care services to refer patients with social, emotional or practical needs to a range of local, non-clinical services, when a medical intervention or just treating clinical origins is not getting to the root of the person’s needs.

GPs, nurses, housing providers, social care teams and even family members can refer people to social prescribing ‘navigators’, who will work with each person to identify non-medical opportunities in the community that may be of benefit, e.g.  social activities, interests/hobbies, peer support groups, dietary support, relaxation, exercise, voluntary opportunities or other lifestyle changes that could improve health and wellbeing.

Often these services and  are provided by the local voluntary sector, but statutory services provided by councils, housing associations or the NHS can also be involved. The prescriptions can include referrals to everything from arts groups and volunteering to activities that involve physical exercise, such as gardening and dance clubs. It can also involve simply putting people in contact with services that can provide help and advice with issues such as debt, benefits and housing.

Most schemes have a link worker or navigator who GPs refer patients on to and they organise the social prescription, but there are examples of doctors referring patients directly on to an activity.

Voluntary Centre Services  is working in partnership with NHS and social care services to offer social prescribing in the west area of Lincolnshire.  Our role is to enable health and care professionals to connect people with community services and opportunities that support wellbeing.

Our teams are now accepting referrals for people in the Lincoln, West Lindsey and North Kesteven areas and can be contacted on or phone your nearest VCS office:

Gainsborough: 01427 613470
Lincoln: 01522 551683
Sleaford: 01529 308450

You can download leaflets (pdf) about the project below:

2018 Social Prescribing and Navigated Self Care (Information for Practitioners)

2018 Connecting you with your community (for anyone)