What is social prescribing and how can your music group benefit from it?
Social prescribing is part of the relatively new NHS personalised care programme and a way for GPs and local agencies to refer people to a link worker, who takes a holistic approach to people’s health and wellbeing. They then connect people to community groups and statutory services for practical and emotional support.
In 2021, the Singing for Health Network (SFHN) launched two free guides, one aimed at choirs and one at link workers, to help both sides understand each other and how to interact.
- Download SFHN guide for singing groups
- Download SFHN guide for link workers working with singing groups
Social prescribing resources for any music groups
Making Music has developed these resources, in partnership with the Singing for Health Network, to apply to both singing and instrumental groups and has also created some additional templates, policies and tools you might find useful to use alongside the guides
- Download singing and instrumental guide for any music group
- Download singing and instrumental guide for link workers working with any music group
- Group Profile Information For Link Worker: any link worker you make contact with in your area will want to understand more about your group, what you do, what kinds of people it includes, whether you have relevant policies (e.g. safeguarding) in place. This template suggests what information link workers might be looking for, but it is an editable template so feel free to adapt as appropriate
- Questions For Your Link Worker: There are also questions that you will want to ask your link worker, and we have put them together in a template for you. Again, feel free to adapt or add to it as necessary
- Group Profile Template for Referred Person: You will also want to give a referred person all the information they might want to know about your group, so this template will help you think about the kind of information someone new to your group might be looking for
- Referred Person Profile Template: You will also want to know a bit about the person being referred to you, and so you could ask your link worker to complete this template with their patient
Useful policies for social prescribing
- Link Workers may want to know you have a safeguarding policy, a nominated safeguarding person, and perhaps DBS checks in place. See Making Music’s safeguarding resources for more information and to help you set up the right framework.
- Other policies or awareness they may be looking for are health and safety/risk assessments, First Aid, Mental Health First Aid
- You may also be asked about data protection, so check out Making Music’s resources
Assessment tools that maybe used by link workers
Link workers may wish to assess whether the referral has been successful, and for that they could use a range of tools. Below are two of the most frequently used. It will be part of your discussion with your link worker whether you give feedback, and how much you can provide as a group – you are after all volunteers with limited time and it is perfectly ok to say that, rather than end up with additional duties you were not expecting.
The tools below are to help you to understand some of the landscape this work sits in.
- The ONS Wellbeing Questions – from the Office for National Statistics
- The Social Prescribing Tool
- Download the Social Prescribing Approach London Plus, a handy graphic overview of how social prescribing works
- And finally London Arts and Health have produced a really helpful Social Prescribing Mythbuster if you are looking to understand more about this topic.
We hope you find this Making Music resource useful. If you have any comments or suggestions about the guidance please contact us. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the content of this guidance is accurate and up to date, Making Music do not warrant, nor accept any liability or responsibility for the completeness or accuracy of the content, or for any loss which may arise from reliance on the information contained in it.