Medical Research Council Project

University of Plymouth researchers are partnering with the SIPHER consortium (https://sipher.ac.uk/), to use a structured approach to design a future programme of community-referred social prescribing suitable for individuals to use and access community assets for their health.

We will bring together a broad range of stakeholders with experience of designing, delivering and - most importantly - accessing social prescribing, to collect information about self-referrals in the community. We want to understand how the systems work, how these structures interact and how to best support them to offer activities in the best way for individuals to attend and improve their health. We also want to explore how the coming expansion will affect those already delivering programmes.

We will produce guidance for this whole systems approach to social prescribing, including a detailed system map and programme theory for the proposed pathway and interventions. We will use our existing contacts, as well as those from people we work with for this project, to make sure our guidance reaches those in a position to benefit from it, and to influence service changes for the good of communities. We will then seek further funding to test whether this guidance works using primary data.