NHS commitment to Social Prescribing offers timely boost to community physical activity


New NHS England commitments to support Social Prescribing as part of the Comprehensive Model for Personalised Care are a welcome indication of the importance of physical activity in supporting people to live happier, healthier lives.

Plans, which include the hiring of 1000 new Link Workers and an ambition to support 900,000 people through Social Prescribing nationwide, come as London’s physical activity and sport sector considers how better to support the scale and spread of Social Prescribing across London.

Currently, three pilot projects are underway across the capital, in Bexley, Kensington & Chelsea, and Islington working to investigate the role of Social Prescribing in challenging physical inactivity in communities across the capital, while London Sport are also supporting the Healthy London Partnership’s Proactive Care Team, the GLA, NHS England and the London Social Prescribing Network to help shape a Social Prescribing Vision for London.

Social Prescribing, which helps patients to find suitable community activities to improve their health and wellbeing, offers significant opportunities for physical activity and sport programmes to deliver meaningful health and support outcomes to Londoners who most need additional support to take greater control of their mental and physical health.

Social Prescribing represents a promising opportunity to further explore and develop the role of physical activity in supporting health and wellbeing across London.

We already know that being involved in physical activity offers significant benefits to people at all stages of life, but we also know that for some people, starting off with an activity or finding the right way to be physically active can be a real challenge. Working more closely with Social Prescribing programmes can help us to alleviate those challenges and support more people to get and stay involved in physical activity

Barry Kelly, London Sport Specialist Advisor, Physical Activity for Health

London Sport will announce more details of its Social Prescribing pilots and activities in the coming months.

To find out more about London Sport’s work in Social Prescribing, contact Barry Kelly – barry.kelly@londonsport.org


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