This week, the government published a review pledging to cut overprescribing of medicines, in response to a new report conducted by the Chief Pharmaceutical Officer for England. The report found that roughly 10% of medication dispensed in primary care is overprescribed, and that 1 in 5 hospital admissions for over-65s are due to the adverse effects of medicines.
One of the key recommendations set out in the review is the increased use of social prescribing, which can help “make sure patients get the most appropriate treatment for their needs”. Social prescribing involves referring patients into local community services to improve their health and wellbeing. It also gives patients more control over their healthcare and supports shared decision-making between clinicians and patients.
The review highlights the need for a cultural change in the way we view our healthcare, which includes raising awareness for alternative options to medicine. At Social Rx, we are trying to spread the word about social prescribing by including self-referral forms on GP practice websites, so that people know that the support is available to them and that they can access it easily.
It has been confirmed that ministers have accepted the recommendations for reducing overprescribing, and work will now begin to implement them. This is a significant step forward towards a more personalised care and the scaling up of social prescribing!
You can read the full report here.