25/02/2021 A new global alliance will champion social prescribing around the world

United Nations head quarters in New York, USA
UN headquarters in New York, USA

A global health alliance dedicated to raising awareness of social prescribing has got under way. By forming partnerships and sharing innovative approaches, the alliance hopes to achieve its vision of enabling “thriving communities to deliver a social revolution in their health and wellbeing while generating value”.

The Global Social Prescribing Alliance is a group of worldwide partners who recognise that what keeps us well is more than medicine. Its mission is to establish a global working group dedicated to the advancement of social prescribing through promotion, collaboration and innovation. The alliance’s work supports the implementation of UN sustainable development goal 3 – “good health and wellbeing”.

The global alliance will champion social prescribing and the work of local communities in connecting people by focusing on six main areas of work:

  1. Creating a universal narrative for redefining health and wellbeing through ‘rethinking medicine’, ‘personalised care’, and ‘social prescribing’ in support of SDG3 Good Health & Wellbeing.
  2. Delivering clinical leadership through the development of a global network of clinical champions.
  3. Creating innovative community development approaches focussed on existing assets and sustainable financial structures.
  4. Implementing the ‘building blocks for social prescribing’ and developing the five zones: arts, nature, exercise, knowledge and wisdom.
  5. Creating workforce solutions for healthcare institutions via new platforms.
  6. Harnessing digital solutions to enhance information and meaning.

The Global Social Prescribing Alliance will be a unique global health initiative that will provide capacity for our citizens’ health and wellbeing in the future.

Gareth Presch, CEO of the World Health Innovation Summit, said:

“The opportunity exists to create a model of healthcare that creates value based on prevention. Early intervention by using different types of resources that will enable people and communities to thrive and improve their health and wellbeing. We can support existing health services, create new and meaningful jobs while supporting the implementation of the UN 17 sustainable development goals.”

James Sanderson, CEO of the National Academy of Social Prescribing, said:

“The international growth of Social Prescribing creates an opportunity for a revolution in the delivery of health and wellbeing support. We have seen the huge benefits that come from supporting people, based on what matters to them, to connect with their communities through our work in England, and connecting with global partners to share learning and build an allied movement is an exciting next step.”

Isabelle WACHSMUTH, World Health Organization, Art Impact For Health Initiative, Universal Health Coverage and Life Course Division, said:

“Art is a way to foster the implementation of social prescribing services because art is the creation of meaning through stories, images, sounds, performances and other methods that enable people to communicate to others their experience of and feelings about their well-being specifically confidence and hope. It is a way to facilitate resilience of people and their self-awareness about the importance of their health. Art invites us to care for all beneficiaries specifically the most vulnerable and marginalized, to inspire cohesion between different innovative or under-reached initiatives with strong and sustainable impacts at country level”

Roland Schatz, CEO of the UNGSII Foundation, said:

“This is a promising alliance for all, who want to see change in place : more focus on prevention. The Arts, quality food, access to forests can help save billions in national health budgets. And provide concrete action options for families and friends. On all continents.”

The alliance was launched on the 25th February 2021 with an address from the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, the Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP. 

Watch the launch


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