Applications are now open for voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations to apply for the Health and Wellbeing Fund on social prescribing.
The VCSE Health and Wellbeing Programme enables the Department of Health, NHS England and Public Health England to work together with VCSE organisations to drive the transformation of health and care systems to promote equality and address health inequalities and help people, families and communities to achieve and maintain wellbeing.
This year, the Fund's specific topic is social prescribing. The aim of the Fund component of the programme will be to promote equalities and reduce health inequalities by building the evidence base around good practice in social prescribing, sharing lessons and widening adoption of interventions with a proven track record.
The application pack for the Fund says, 'Social prescribing means different things to different people, however, the Social Prescribing Network’s co-produced definition is, “Enabling healthcare professionals to refer patients to a link worker, to co-design a nonclinical social prescription to improve their health and wellbeing.”
'Social prescribing is generally understood to be an intervention through which people are supported to access non-medical services in the community. Examples include befriending, art classes and exercise classes, but a wide variety of activities can be included. Typically, a community navigator/link worker will work with the individual to co-produce solutions that best
suit their needs. A range of terms is sometimes used for the community navigator/link worker, including health adviser, wellbeing coordinator and community connector.'
Organisations can bid for funding of up to £300,000 for the first year of their scheme. Successful schemes will be announced in December 2017, however, the Department of Health says that the launch of the scheme does not commit it to the funding of any grant awards beyond April 2018.