Social prescribing

We work with customers across the NHS to transform vacant indoor and outdoor space into vibrant community hubs to be used by voluntary and community organisations connected to social prescribing networks to improve their local population's health and wellbeing.

What is social prescribing?

The NHS Long Term Plan includes a focus on helping people stay healthier for longer and supporting community activities that help improve people’s wellbeing; the fitter, healthier and more socially connected we are, the less likely it is we’ll need to access our local GP or other health professionals.

The NHS is therefore developing social prescribing networks across the country. Patients with multiple complex needs are referred by their GP to social prescribing services where their needs can be assessed and appropriate community services can be recommended such as adult learning, employment support or activity groups to improve confidence or reduce isolation. 

Read our social prescribing examples, here.

How can NHS Property Services help?

To help the NHS get the most from its estate and support delivery of the Long Term Plan, we work with NHS colleagues to identify and turn vacant space with no other immediate use into social prescribing hubs, and poor quality, unused outdoor space into green spaces including allotments, sensory and dementia gardens. Find out more about how you can transform green spaces. In doing this, we are helping patients socialise, learn new skills and hopefully improve their overall wellbeing.

We strive to work as one joined-up team, collaborating with our NHS colleagues and creating strong local partnerships. We involve local communities in the design and work closely with ICSs and Trusts to ensure the spaces really do help address local health and social needs.

Since launching our programme in 2019, we are proud to have opened 75 social prescribing sites across England.

Take a look at two of our social prescribing hubs

In this video, see how social prescribing spaces at Whitton Clinic in Ipswich and Victoria Central Health Centre in Wallasey are used to improve community wellbeing.

Transforming a vacant health centre floor for The Listening Place

Our Asset Management and Construction teams worked very closely with The Listening Place, a London based charity that supports those who feel like life is no longer worth living, North Central London CCG and London Borough of Camden to identify and refurbish vacant space that really supports the needs of those in the community.

We spoke to Laura Face, New Site Project Manager for The Listening Place to find out how the new site at Hunter Street Health Centre will impact their services.

Read the case study

Do you have a suitable space?

If you have vacant space that you think would be suitable for social prescribing or would just like to discuss potential social prescribing sites for development within your area, please speak to your local NHSPS contact or contact our Customer Support Centre.

Contact us today

How to engage with social prescribing hubs in your area

We've developed a new social prescribing guide to help you learn more about our social prescribing hubs and the services they offer. You can find local services offered by the hubs, including baby banks, nutrition support and mental health support services, as well as information about how to refer patients.

Download brochure