This report makes the case for shifting services from preventing death and treating illness to also promoting wellness and quality of life and brings together practical learning and evidence on different ways to integrate and promote community-based services into health and social care.
Three elements help the process and are described in detail in the report:
- Social prescribing – a clear, coherent and collaborative process in which healthcare practitioners work with patients and service users to select and make referrals to community-based services
- Signposting – new roles and support for people who help patients and service users understand, access and navigate community-based services that will improve their health
- A balanced and healthy ecosystem of community-based services and providers so that a wide range of opportunities are available
The People Powered Health approach recognises the social as well as medical aspects of long-term conditions. It creates a set of tools for clinicians to use with patients to address the behavioural and social aspects of long term conditions.
This can be through direct, formal prescribing by the clinician or the clinician referring patients on to link workers who support them. This approach recognises the importance of systematically linking to a variety of services that provide ‘more than medicine’. These services mobilise communities and networks to support people on their terms.
They are co-designed and co-delivered by patients, enabling them to meet not only bio-medical needs but wider social, physical and mental wellbeing goals. Alternative provision is not intended to replace traditional planned medical care, but to complement it by developing an infrastructure to reliably and consistently deliver social models of support to enable people to live better.