#SocialPrescribingDay: How M·E·L Research is informing improvements in Social Prescribing

Social Prescribing Day represents an international annual celebration of Social Prescribing. ​Our research and evaluation helps local authorities to improve Social Prescribing services aimed at helping residents improve their health, wellbeing and social welfare by connecting them to community services.

As part of the recently published NHS Long Term Plan, the NHS has promised to support at least 900,000 people to benefit from Social Prescribing by 2023. With this in mind, Social Prescribing is becoming an area of increasing focus.

Our work
Commissioned by Walsall Council, the M·E·L Research team are currently half-way through an evaluation of a Social Prescribing project (Making Connections Walsall) aiming to tackle loneliness and isolation amongst older people.

Our evaluation focuses on the effectiveness and social impact of the programme, using Social Return on Investment (SROI) as an evaluation tool. We are carrying out a Forecast SROI in the Making Connections Walsall programme.  This is a framework for measuring and taking account of the social, environmental and economic costs and benefits of an intervention, and predicting how much social value will be created if activities meet their intended outcomes. This approach will help Walsall Council and key stakeholders identify where and how the impact of the programme can be maximised for its users during its’ initial two years and potentially beyond.

In June 2018, we co-presented a poster on this evaluation at the First international Social Prescribing Conference with Walsall Council. For more details on this project and to view the poster, click here.

The evaluation will continue later into 2019, when we will be crunching all the data to produce a full SROI evaluation of the project.

Today highlights the importance and significance of Social Prescribing within the health and wellbeing landscape. The Social Prescribing Network are running a programme of events and activities aimed to engage people of all ages.

To find out more about Social Prescribing Day visit http://bit.ly/2tH3fl7. To get involved, share your projects using #SocialPrescribingDay

MRS Evidence Matters