About Nesta

Nesta is an innovation foundation. For us, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality and changing lives for the better. We use our expertise, skills and funding in areas where there are big challenges facing society.

Social prescribing students

Who are the social prescribing movement?

Social prescribing is a way for GPs and health workers to refer people to a link worker. Link workers give people time, focusing on ‘what matters to me’ and taking a holistic approach to people’s health and wellbeing. They connect people to community groups and statutory services for practical and emotional support.

Despite the increase in social prescribing as an approach across the NHS, currently doctors receive scant training in social prescribing. The current medical curriculum has a very heavy focus on biomedical approaches and most doctors complete their training without an adequate grounding in how people powered approaches can improve the health and wellbeing of their patients.

A group of medical students from around the country are collaborating with senior clinicians in a campaign to change the medical curriculum. The student leaders are engaging with other student campaign groups and co-ordinating their activity at each of the UK’s medical schools. The College of Medicine is supporting their campaign as part of its drive to encourage the take up of social prescribing.

Tackling this health issue

From initial work by a few students, the movement is growing to mobilise more students from right across the country. There are now over 200 students acting as local, regional and national champions for Social Prescribing. The focus is now on #SocialPrescribingDay which will take place on 12 March 2020.

Take part in #SocialPrescribingDay, follow the student movement on Twitter.