NHS Long Term Plan

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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.