As social prescribing gains traction within communities and health and social care providers, green prescribing is an often-overlooked way to help improve mental health outcomes for people.
In part, and where appropriate, green social prescribing turns traditional methods of prescribing on its head. As we all may have felt throughout the pandemic, the benefits of experiencing the outdoors, be it exercising, or nature-based activities, can clear the mind and lift the mood, bring people together, and help our overall well-being as well as benefitting physically.
This has also come to the notice of the Government, who, beginning with a £4m investment, have encouraged investment from other major health and well-being organisations, such as Sport England, NHS England and NHS Improvement. Along with help from the National Institute of Social Prescribing, almost £6m has been earmarked for contributing to green prescribing initiatives.
Social RX Connect is no stranger to green prescribing and its benefits. Indeed, Bexley VSC have used the time they saved thanks to the Social RX system features, that they have found more time to build upon their very own green prescribing programmes, by linking with organisations that enable people to participate in outdoor activities.
“We have a part-time team member who now has some time freed up to research green social prescribing initiatives, such as gardening projects, forest group walks and conservation. We also look at blue social prescribing too, which gets people out onto the water, or cleaning up rivers,” says Alex Fordham, Community Connect Manager, for the borough of Bexley. Social RX Connect also supports the team with connecting providers together and enabling the easy monitoring of outcomes.
Indeed, Alex and the team will be able to keep a close eye on their green social prescribing outcomes which is set to be a focus going forward for providers everywhere. The NHS believes that along with improving well-being, the positive mental health outcomes of green social prescribing can both reduce health inequalities and reduce demand on the health and social care system.
“Our software is very flexible, and I’m delighted that is it supporting such a new and fresh initiative in the social prescribing arena,” says Heather Hancock, CEO of Promatica Digital. “We are excited to see our clients use the software in areas we never would have dreamed, yet again, our social prescribing colleagues never stop innovating to help people. I’m happy that we can support them.”
As a big part of the team’s focus, Social Rx Connect is constantly striving to set the highest standards of quality and innovation. Working closely with customers, improvements are the outcome of a collective effort to deliver a positive impact for not just clients, but those in the communities that benefit so much from social prescribing.
ABOUT SOCIAL RX CONNECT
Promatica Digital developed the Social Rx Connect platform as social prescribing became known to the NHS. Social prescribing being a new area, there was a need to organise and manage this new service. The publication of the NHS Five Year Forward View further accelerated the implementation of social prescribing. The software solution was originally built with input from commissioners, the voluntary care sector, primary care, and community providers.To find out more how Social RX Connect can support you, please get in touch!