Social Prescribing

About Social Prescribing

Social prescribing has been recognised as having a key role to play in ensuring a sustainable health and social care system that looks after the wellbeing of the population in Wales.

Social prescribing enables GPs, nurses and other primary care professionals to refer people to a range of local, non-clinical services to support their health and wellbeing.

We’ve been working on a number of social prescribing related projects, such as exploring ways that it can help with physical health, mental health and social isolation, and looking into how we can evaluate social prescribing so it can be used to best effect.

Social prescribing can reduce the footfall to GP surgeries by 15% to 28%.

Research shows around 1 in 5 patients consult their GP with what is primarily a social problem.

Be a part of our Social Prescribing Network

We meet every 6-8 weeks to share learning, good practice, challenges and opportunities.

Spreading Good Practice

Storytelling is a huge part of what we do to showcase great innovations. We tell the stories of those at the heart of our services so similar services can be spread, scaled and adopted across our region and beyond.

As part of their investment in social prescribing, the South West GP Cluster in Cardiff joined up with parkrunUK and the Royal College of General Practitioners to start their own parkrun Practice, which aims to encourage people to be more active and take control of their wellbeing. It has been shared across Wales and the UK and also shared with the Welsh Government’s National Exercise Referral Scheme.

Grow Well is a community gardening project developed in partnership with the South West GP Cluster in Cardiff. The collaboration of local healthcare professionals and volunteers help engage people with health issues to recover and thrive through therapeutic community growing.

The Hub worked with the pioneering social prescribing project to capture some of the individual stories of people benefitting from the service to spread the benefits it an have on health and wellbeing.

“The garden has made me feel life again, I feel like me again”

Grow Well participant
Cardiff and Vale Regional Innovation Coordination Hub joined up with the Fathom Trust’s Making Well Project to explore the benefits Green Prescribing can have to people’s health and wellbeing.

“Much of the value of our Making Well green social prescribing course cannot be captured using conventional means of evaluation. This film has become an important tool in communicating what the Making Well course has meant for those participating in it.  Being able to hear from participants in their own words is powerful and helps us all make a stronger case for the therapeutic value of working with nature.”.

Dr William Beharrell, Founder of Fathom Trust

The Hub joined forces with Cwm Taf RIC Hub to launch a week-long fitness challenge to help teenagers from across South Wales boost their wellbeing and mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic. The spread of this film had a direct impact on an increase in signups to the GetFitWales Project.

Get Fit Wales is a partnership that aims to support individuals improve their physical activity and connect with community vendors addressing issues effecting their health and wellbeing.

Working alongside Cwm Taf Morgannwg Health Board, the WISE programme, academics and community experts, Get Fit Wales uses step trackers and incentivises attainment of personal targets. Points credited following success, allows participants to spend on vouchers providing free access to local fitness and health related goods and services.

Social Prescribing Evaluation framework

Social Prescribing is key national and regional priority as it has been recognised as not only having an important role in the sustainability of the health and social care system in Wales with clear, direct benefits to individuals as well as efficiency but also benefitting health and social care providers in overall cost savings.

The Hub has teamed up with the Welsh School of Social Prescribing (WSSPR) to coproduce a range of materials that can translate into regional and national learning. The Hub is using these to promote, shape and accelerate the uptake of future of social prescribing approaches and activity in Wales. 

Patient Experience of Social Prescribing: A Scoping review

WSSPR have undertaken a scoping review into the patient experience of social prescribing to give us a great starting point to develop the evaluation framework. An insightful read for anyone interested in social prescribing.

Group Concept Mapping Report

Stakeholders told us what data they think is important and easy to collect. This group concept mapping report presents the findings of the study into stakeholder views and has helped shape the data included in the evaluation framework.

Person Reported Experience Measure

WSSPR have developed a dedicated Person Reported Experience Measure (PREM) for social prescribing with Cardiff and Vale UHB’s Patient Experience team. The PREM is a tool that can be used by social prescribing providers to assess user experience and evaluate services. Please feel free to download to use in your social prescribing service.

Development Matrix

Professor Mark Llewelyn (Director of the Welsh Institute for Health and Social Care) explains what the Social Prescribing Development Matrix is, why it has been developed, the benefits of utilising the tool, and how it can be used.

This Development Matrix provides an evaluation framework for services and projects to self-assess their progress. It can be used to help services compare their progress over time and facilitate conversations between services in Wales.


Want to know more? The Kings Fund have pulled together this explainer.

Our Priorities


We want every child in Cardiff and Vale to have the opportunity to thrive. Our work focuses on children in vulnerable situations and the services that support them.


We know how hard it can be to find help when people need it the most. We want to make sure there is community support to help people stay as healthy as possible so they can carry on doing the things that matter most to them.


As a Partnership we have worked together with people with a learning disability, their families, carers and the third and independent sector to produce a clear direction for the planning and delivery of adult learning disability services across the region over the next five years.

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