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What is social prescribing?

Social prescribing is a key component of Universal Personalised Care and its rollout is actively supported by the Long Term Plan NHS England.  The aim of social prescribing is to take a more holistic approach to a person’s health and wellbeing by focusing on what matters to them.  It is a way that GPs, nurses, link workers and other health and care professionals can refer people to a range of local services to meet their non-clinical needs. 

The people who could benefit most from social prescribing include those who:

  • have one or more long-term condition(s)
  • need support with low-level mental health issues
  • are lonely or isolated
  • have complex social needs which affect their wellbeing

Role of the Social Prescribing Link Worker

The Social Prescribing Link Worker works with people to connect them with local community activities and services to help improve their health and wellbeing. There are currently around 87 Social Prescribing Link Workers in Derby and Derbyshire who are employed by Primary Care Networks or by a host organisation that provides social prescribing services, such as local voluntary, community and social enterprise sector organisations that have existing links and relationships within communities. 

Social Prescribing Advisory Group

The Social Prescribing Advisory Group was formed in April 2019 to support social prescribing activities across Derby and Derbyshire.  The Group meets monthly and is chaired by Louise Swain, Assistant Director for Joint and Community Commissioning at NHS Derby and Derbyshire Integrated Care Board.  Membership includes representation from across health, social care and the voluntary/community sector.  Social Prescribing Link Workers are also invited to the meetings where they can share their knowledge and best practice.  Dates for meetings in 2024 are listed below.  These usually take place via MS Teams.Please contact for more information.

  • Wednesday 24 January 2023, 10.00am – 1.00pm (face-to-face meeting focussing on the Artist’s Inquiry into Social Prescribing.  Venue: Heath Village Hall, Main Road, Heath, Chesterfield S44 5RX)
  • Wednesday 7 February 2024, 2.00pm – 4.00pm
  • Wednesday 6 March 2024, 2.00pm – 4.00pm
  • Wednesday 3 April 2024, 2.00pm – 4.00pm
  • Wednesday 1 May 6 March 2024, 2.00pm – 4.00pm
  • Wednesday 5 June 2024, 2.00pm – 4.00pm
  • Wednesday 3 July 2024, 2.00pm – 4.00pm
  • Wednesday 7 August 2024, 2.00pm – 4.00pm
  • Wednesday 4 September 2024, 2.00pm – 4.00pm
  • Wednesday 6 March 2024, 2.00pm – 4.00pm
  • Wednesday 2 October 2024, 2.00pm – 4.00pm
  • Wednesday 6 November 2024, 2.00pm – 4.00pm
  • Wednesday 4 December 2024, 2.00pm – 4.00pm


Joy is a system designed with personalised care teams to support all daily client-related activities, from case notes to referrals.  It is fully integrated with EMIS and SystmOne and is currently being used in some parts of Derby and Derbyshire to support the rollout of social prescribing.

Green social prescribing

Green social prescribing is the practice of supporting people to engage in nature-based interventions and activities to improve their mental and physical health.  Derbyshire was selected to be one of seven “test and learn” sites involved in the two-year Green Social Prescribing Programme which was launched in April 2021. 

Social prescribing for young people

Thr1ve – Social Prescribing for Young People is a service for young people aged 14 to 18, or up to 25 for those with additional needs.  A group of professional link workers support young people to make positive changes to their lives and to feel connected.  The service covers North-East Derbyshire, North Hardwick and Bolsover, Royal Primary Care Chesterfield and South Hardwick Primary Care Networks.

More information and useful links

Last Updated: Thursday 18th January 2024 - 10:52:am

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