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Building Healthier Futures: Putting Social Prescribing and Co-Production in Action

Building Healthier Futures: Putting Social Prescribing and Co-Production in Action

This month’s edition talks about all the ways social prescribing acts as the bridge to ensure co-production approaches are successful, particularly in the integration of housing, health, and social care settings.

Social Prescribing
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June was a bustling month for Access Elemental Social Prescribing as we actively raised awareness about new funding opportunities, highlighting the transformative power of co-production in enhancing community health and wellbeing. We explored how Primary Care Networks (PCNs), Integrated Care Systems (ICBs), and Regional Leads can collaborate to address community social issues, culminating in a successful webinar emphasising reducing GP attendance by tackling avoidable health inequalities. These efforts empower individuals to manage their health, proactively improving overall community wellbeing. Discussions at Housing 24 further underscored the pivotal role of co-production among stakeholders in housing, health, and social care to address nationwide housing challenges. Recognising housing as a critical social determinant of health, sessions stressed the need for robust mental health support, particularly in addressing the profound impacts of housing issues, especially on children.

As July approaches, with many gearing up for the summer holiday season, a general election, and Co-Production Week,  Access Elemental remains committed to advocating for co-production in social prescribing success. Amidst the formation of a new government, we continue to highlight the benefits of social prescribing for all stakeholders involved. Our focus remains on enabling services, organisations, and primary care settings to scale their social prescribing efforts sustainably, always prioritising individuals by concentrating on what matters to them and fostering community wellbeing.

Co-Production: Bringing the housing sector and social prescribing world together

 In the final week of June, Access Elemental Social Prescribing attended Housing 24 at Manchester Central, a compelling three-day event that brought together inspiring individuals to tackle the UK’s housing challenges. The event fostered discussions on how technology can facilitate collaboration among stakeholders to overcome problems in housing, particularly the integration of housing, health, and social care.

Lots of key insights emerged from the event, notably the essential role of co-production involving stakeholders alongside individuals themselves—listening to their desires, needs, and aspirations. It became evident that assuming these preferences is counterproductive; instead, leveraging technology to empower independent living while bolstering mental health support emerged as critical themes.

Collaboration among stakeholders was highlighted as central in identifying at-risk populations early and delivering timely interventions. Debra Edwards, a Champion of Co-Production and a featured speaker, shared her journey, underscoring the transformative impact of asking individuals what they truly need—arguing that proactive engagement could have both saved costs, expedited quality-of-life improvements, and prevented mental health crises.

At Access Elemental Social Prescribing, we passionately believe that no one should endure such experiences. We recognise the challenges inherent in housing. Here social prescribing can act as a bridge between housing, health, and social care to align these sectors for improved outcomes.

Through safe and assured referral pathways and seamless integrations with leading clinical and social care systems, we empower housing organisations, associations, and charities to collaborate effectively with health and social care providers. Social prescribing in housing therefore offers a preventive and early-intervention framework, centered on personalised social prescriptions that address diverse challenges—from social isolation following acquiring a disability, injury, or illness to financial insecurities and homelessness. By fostering multidisciplinary teamwork, we aim to alleviate pressure on primary care services and, most importantly, enhance individuals’ quality of life, enabling them to live independently and thrive.

For more information on social prescribing in housing, download our housing guide today to discover how social prescribing and technology can help improve community health and wellbeing and tackle individual housing issues while preventing homelessness in a multifaceted approach to improve quality of life. 

Best ways to reduce avoidable GP appointments

Whilst raising the awareness of how social prescribing models can be adapted in housing, our primary aim throughout July and into August will be continuing our efforts to inform PCNs of the power co-production and social prescribing have when PCNs, ICBs, and Regional Leads work together. 

We know how difficult it is for social prescribing services to grow sustainably without secure multi-funding streams, that’s why we are making it our aim to ensure that, despite the cancellation of the Digital Pathway Framework Funding, all PCNs are aware of the interim first-come first-served funding available and how it can be used to improve your care navigation. 

Working alongside Birmingham East Central PCN and Birmingham and Solihull ICB, we are busy collaborating to ensure they get the most out of the funding modernising general practice. 

Using this initiative, Birmingham and Solihull ICB PCNs will provide their patients with digital access for contacting their GP through suitable digital channels, enabling healthcare delivery at times and locations more convenient for patients. 

Birmingham and Solihull PCNs will be using the  Access Elemental platform to support their care navigation across the system, ensuring the Right Access First Time for patients. Birmingham and Solihull ICB are aligning neighbourhood teams and consolidating access into one system. This initiative presents an opportunity to implement a truly integrated digital approach that brings together various sectors within the Integrated Care System. This supports neighbourhood teams while addressing the ICB Right Action First Time (RAFT) and practice access issues effectively. As, a result, all stakeholders and individuals will experience the benefits of digital social prescribing including reduce pressure on primary care settings, reduce GP attendance, cost savings, and most importantly improve mental health and wellbeing for individuals throughout their community. 

Offering services to over 1.58 million people across the ICB, we are delighted that Access Elemental Social Prescribing is the first social prescribing software company to be procured with this funding. 

It is clear therefore that co-production has never been more crucial to improve mental health and wellbeing. The impact of having all stakeholders onboard and working towards the same goals is revolutionary. We don’t want anyone to miss out on this funding. Using this funding to invest in digital social prescribing helps GP services deliver better outcomes by reducing dependency on GP practices and allowing more time for other health concerns with real-time data access to harness the full opportunity of creating stronger digital pathways.

For more information on maximising this funding, contact us today. We will collaborate with you and your Regional Lead to help you achieve your objectives and enhance support across the entire care circle. 

 

Discover more about The Access Group:

 

Their portfolio of integrated solutions empowers professionals in healthcare, support, and social care services to deliver joined-up quality and preventative care. With over 30 years of experience, we support local authorities alongside small, medium, and large organisations, to focus on the individual with the freedom to make it personal.

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