How we do social prescribing

We worked with Dr Sara Calderón-Larrañaga and the Centre for Primary Care and Mental Health at Queen Mary’s University to communicate how social prescribing has been used in a large research project carried out with people at risk from type 2 diabetes who live in disadvantaged communities in Tower Hamlets, London.

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This publication gives a voice to the people involved in the study and aims to increase the awareness, acceptance and adoption of social prescribing in NHS primary care.

We ran a discovery workshop where we heard about Dr Sara Calderón-Larrañaga's hopes for the project, who she wanted to engage through her work as well as the key ingredients and themes that came out of her research.

“Working with Design Science has taken our research to the next level! I’m impressed by their extraordinary capacity to identify and display key study findings using inventive and engaging layouts. I felt listened-to and understood throughout the process, and that our research mattered to them.”

We wanted to bring to life the diversity of East London and tell the story from the perspective of the ‘team’ that makes social prescribing work – the patient, the doctor, the link worker (who brings the social and the clinical together) and the wider community, including the many social prescribers who help people to reimagine how they cope and respond to their condition through hope and care.

We connected vibrant colours to the four key themes that were central to effective social prescribing practice and created a simple visual system to emphasise the qualities of each theme - broad, inclusive, embedded and sustained.

We then worked with Sara to identify key recommendations for each theme and used quotes from patients, practitioners, link workers and social prescribers, together with images of social prescribing places and activities, to connect the study findings to the people and the community at the centre of the research.

You can download the report here and read more about Queen Mary’s Centre for Primary Care.

The publication will soon be available in Spanish and shared with PACAP – the committee within the Spanish Royal College of GPs specialised in community development and health inequalities.

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