A female GP meets with an older man who is speaking to her in a consultation room

29/06/2023 Beyond Pills campaign: one year on

One year on from the launch of the College of Medicine’s Beyond Pills Campaign, leading doctors, pharmacists, politicians and patients have spoken at the Integrative and Personalised Health Conference in London about the ongoing challenge of the over-prescription of medication.

The Beyond Pills campaign was set up in the wake of the Government’s National Overprescribing Review. The review suggested that 10% of medications prescribed through primary care need not have been prescribed, and that 20% of hospital admissions among over-65s are related to the adverse effects of medication.

It highlighted the role of social prescribing in preventing overprescribing and tackling the underlying causes of health conditions.

Evidence suggests that social prescribing can have a positive impact for people with a wide range of health problems, and take pressure off primary care. It can provide a crucial additional option for doctors and patients, either alongside medication or as an alternative.

Since the publication of the NHS Long Term Plan, social prescribing has been a priority for the NHS, and there have been more than 1.9 million referrals to Social Prescribing Link Workers in England since 2019.

“It’s vital that doctors and clinicians have easy access to social prescribing, which offers support for patients to address problems in their lives impacting their health, and to take part in activities that help them stay well and connect with others.

“Many more people could benefit from being referred to a Social Prescribing Link Worker, especially those struggling with poor mental health or feeling overwhelmed with life’s challenges. I support the Beyond Pills Campaign’s aim to develop social prescribing further so that more people are offered the opportunity to access community support, alongside appropriate medical prescriptions.”


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