NHS Long Term Plan
In the Long Term Plan NHS England committed to building the infrastructure for social prescribing in primary care:
- there will be 1,000 new social prescribing link workers in place by 2020/21, with significantly more after that, so that
- at least 900,000 people will be referred to social prescribing by 2023/24.
This is part of the drive to Universal Personalised Care that will see at least 2.5 million people benefiting from personalised care by 23/24.
The social prescribing link workers will become an integral part of the multi-disciplinary teams which are part of primary care networks They form one of five additional roles in the five year framework for GP contract reform with 100% reimbursement for the salary costs of the link workers.
Funding for the new social prescribing link workers became available to primary care networks (PCNs) from 1 July 2019, when the reformed GP contract began.
This is the biggest investment in social prescribing by any national health system, and legitimises community-based activities and support alongside medical treatment as part of personalised care.