This month readers will expect to read about all the achievements Access Elemental achieved last year from customers, developments and innovations on platform, and partnerships we worked with. We then explain what we have in store for next year to promote that social prescribing does really work.
Last year we had a real focus on spreading the news on what social prescribing is and what are its benefits. We developed new innovations to keep up with marketplace needs, worked with new customers, celebrated customer achievements, and established new partnerships.
At Access Elemental Social Prescribing this year we have also taken part in award ceremonies not just celebrating social prescribing, but women in tech too. Following Jennifer Neff, our co-founder, being the recipient of the Entrepeneur of the year award in the Women in Tech Excellence Awards in 2021, we were thrilled that Jennifer was invited back, but this time as a judge. It is a wonderful prestigious event and we would love to take this opportunity to congratulate all the winners again in what a fantastic year of achievements for all it has been.
In 2022 our Population Plus module was launched. Our aim of introducing this module to our platform was to make access to social prescribing even easier for communities so anyone at any time on any device can request support. Population Plus allows individuals to self-refer themselves to avoid the need to go to the GP to be referred instead. This way our new module has allowed service users to browse local Directory of Services in their area and self-serve to the services and programmes that will support their practical and emotional needs.
Population Plus hasn’t been the only way we have tried to make access to social prescribing even easier. Last year we also launched our integration with Rio EPR (Electronic Patient Record). At Access Elemental Social Prescribing we enable Mental Health Foundation Trusts and Community Mental Health Teams manage referrals to their local community hubs. Clinicians can spend up to 2 hours a day dealing with non-clinical issues and social support.
Integrating our social prescribing platform with Rio EPR saves clinicians’ time by allowing referrals to be made directly in the EPR. This allows clinicians to directly refer people to assured and complaint services to track what services have been accessed and monitor the health and wellbeing impact within the EPR system. Our aim is to reassure clinicians they are referring patients to safe and appropriate services to tackle the social problems which lead to the decline in individual’s mental health and free up clinical time.
Both these improvements to our platform last year have been extremely successful. In fact, last year our number of referrals more than doubled to over 135,000 compared to just over 62,000 the year before. In 2022 we have seen nearly a 40% increase in referral agents using our platform compared to 2021 with now over 3900 social prescribing link workers alone using the platform every day.
This year we are aiming to achieve more referrals and help more people experience positive changes to their mental health and wellbeing.
We worked with some of our customers to celebrate their achievements over the year and we celebrated with our customers the main benefits we have provided to their social prescribing services.
We saw some of our customers having GP attendance reduce and one of our customers, Lorn and Oban Healthy Options have cost savings of over £880,000.
We also received some great feedback from our customers last year. Some employees from Merton Connected sent us some videos of their experiences of using our social prescribing platform including a social prescribing link worker and a deputy social prescribing manager. They both explain their experiences and how our platform helps them day to day.
With many great things planned for 2023 just watch this space for the great work that is yet to come from us working closely with our customers both existing and new to cater to different social prescribing needs across a variety of industries.
One of our most exciting partnerships we were a part of in 2022 was being one of the partners in the Social Prescribing for people to Live ENjoyably with Dementia/memory problems In Daily life (SPLENDID) study. This partnership has involved us, the University of East Anglia, technology firms, and The Social Prescribing Network.
In this study there has been a staggering £2.6 million invested to fund the largest study into social prescribing for dementia. The study aims to discover how social prescribing can be tailored to fit around individuals suffering from dementia and cater their needs around their interests and hobbies.
The researchers will discuss with people with dementia, family carers, and staff working in social prescribing to understand people’s needs, what works well, and what needs to improve. With nearly 1 million people living with dementia in the UK the outcomes of this study are going to shape the future for dementia care, and at Access Elemental Social Prescribing we are so proud to be a part of it and we cannot wait to share the findings with you later this year.
Before the end of last year we wanted to share what social prescribing journeys are, how they differ, and who is involved.
We highlighted how for social prescribing journeys to be successful there are multiple different interfaces involved including various types of referral agents and referral handlers. Some examples of referral agents include: GPs, Nurses, housing officers and teachers. Examples of referral handlers include: social prescribing link workers, community navigators, and wellbeing managers, to name a few.
There are 7 key steps to anyone’s social prescribing journey and we created two different videos to explain what these steps are, how they work, and how they differ depending on the person and their needs.
Richard’s journey highlights how he was struggling with social isolation and financial concerns after he reduced his hours to become a part-time carer for his father. The video explains through social prescribing Richard was able to get respite care, financial support, and improve his wellbeing scores by getting the help and support he needed for both his father and himself.
Lucy’s journey explains how her journey started by self-referring herself at university and how she got referred to a university social group so she no longer felt lonely. She was also able to receive financial support to cope better at university without worrying about money.
Due to our successes in explaining what social prescribing is and its benefits last year, this year we want to concentrate on examples and the evidence that social prescribing works.
Last year we celebrated a lot of achievements we have experienced with our Scottish social prescribing customers. This year we are planning to do the same for the rest of the UK and Ireland.
One of our biggest positive pieces of feedback we receive consistently is the feature we have available to allow two-way integrations to help manage referrals better. This year we are working with EMIS to express the importance of two-way integrations and how it improves clinical efficiencies. With this partnership we will soon be releasing further enhancements to our current modules within primary care clinical systems. We will soon be releasing more information on these enhancements, and we are so excited to share it with you.
We aim to work more closely within social care to better understand their social prescribing needs to improve outcomes further by ensuring we deliver what is needed. Keep your eyes peeled over the next few months as we plan to release huge innovations that will change the way social prescribing works for the better.
This year you will also see us stamping out some of the myths that are currently associated with social prescribing. You will see us promoting and talking about the many different referral routes people can take from pharmacies to self-referrals and how the age ranges of these routes can differ.
We are planning to work with a number of our customers to explain how more industries are getting involved and using social prescribing including the housing sector and education too.
Our aims this year are to improve our platform further so it can cater to the different industries using social prescribing to show how social prescribing is happening in more places than just healthcare.
Start the new year right and keep up to date with all new and exciting things happening at Access Elemental Social Prescribing in 2023. Learn more on our Health and Support News and Announcements page.
Speak to us today if you want to find out more about social prescribing and how our social prescribing software caters for the various referral routes to take place.
Discover more about our social prescribing case studies to learn how we have evidence for social prescribing.
We cannot wait to see how we progress in 2023 and we cannot wait to share all our news as it happens.
Access Elemental Social Prescribing improves lives of individuals, families, and their carers by providing the capability to design, implement, measure and report on effective models and approaches to social prescribing. We help build confidence that your social prescribing network is connected within the communities your social prescribing service supports.