Social prescribing

GVCS kitemark

What is it?

Social prescribing is a way to link people with non-medical activities and opportunities in their community.

Clinicians in medical practices and community hospitals refer or signpost to Social Prescribing Co-ordinators whose role it is to link the person with an appropriate activity or opportunity in their area. In many cases these activities are provided by the voluntary and community sector.

Who is it for?

It could be for anyone who is likely to benefit from a non-medical intervention. The original intention was to focus on frequent attenders at surgeries for whom it was recognised that a social approach would be helpful.

What is happening in Gloucestershire?

The programme has been operating in the county as a pilot with the support of the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). Following an evaluation of the programme by Public Health Gloucestershire and the procurement of some additional funding, the pilot has been extended to include the whole county. To extend the provision, more Co-ordinators are being employed. The Coordinators will work with the person to find the best solution for them and will introduce the person to their chosen activity or opportunity.

It is also intended that Community Hospitals will be able to make referrals in the future.

How can my organisation become involved?

For social prescribing to be most effective and for the most people to derive benefit, a wide range of VCS organisations need to be involved, from large national charities to small specialist providers. As this is a social approach, small groups that offer e.g. befriending, sport/leisure or artistic opportunities can be involved.

The VCS Alliance, in conjunction with the CCG, has developed a questionnaire that organisations are being asked to complete to qualify for a Kite Mark and to indicate their credentials for taking part in this initiative. Apply for the Kite Mark here.

If you represent a small group that is not formally constituted, you can still take part in social prescribing.

Questions about the procedure?

If you have any questions, would like more information, or guidance for completing the Kite Mark questionnaire, please contact Jem Sweet – Health and Wellbeing Project Officer at

See a list of those organisations that have the Kite Mark.