Evidence Building the economic case for social prescribing

October 2023 

NASP has published 13 evidence publications to date which suggest that social prescribing can reduce costs and pressure in the health care system. Recognising the urgent need to demonstrate the health economic benefits of social prescribing, we commissioned a rapid scoping review of 19 studies on the economic impact of social prescribing and 7 studies on the impact of social prescribing on health service usage.

  • Social prescribing can save money and findings from studies using 5 different methods show that social prescribing can have a positive economic impact
  • Studies suggest that social prescribing schemes can deliver between £2.14 and £8.56 for every £1 invested
  • Social prescribing can reduce pressure on the NHS, this includes reduced GP appointments, reduced hospital admissions and reduced A&E visits for people who have been referred to social prescribing
  • More research is needed to access better data and demonstrate benefits more clearly


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