Global Social Prescribing Alliance
In 2020, Gareth Presch and James Sanderson, came together to work on the opportunity to harness collective global initiatives aimed at creating new ways of delivering good health and wellbeing. The idea was to build a global community of leaders, who were committed to the principles of Social Prescribing, Personalised Care, and Innovation in the field of health and wellbeing.
The Global Social Prescribing Alliance was subsequently established in 2021 as a partnership between: The World Health Innovation Summit, The National Academy for Social Prescribing, The World Health Organisation and The United Nations Global Sustainable Index Institute.
The alliance worked closely with existing global networks to bring people together through a comprehensive series of events and webinars focussing on tackling some of the most pressing global health challenges. The alliance was launched in February 2021 by the UK Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.
During the past two and a half years the Alliance has developed a series of products alongside global partners, including a ‘Global Playbook’ for social prescribing, training materials on the establishment of social prescribing, and site visits and teach in sessions bringing international partners together.
The Alliance has also supported the development of an independent global network of partners which is now represented by 30 countries.
In December 2022, with the backing of founding partners, the Alliance agreed to establish GSPA Ltd, to create a formal organisation to support the continued development of the mission of the alliance.
The current healthcare system is based predominantly on a sick-care model: it is one that waits until we have fallen ill. The system is trying to deal with a rise in demand from an ever-more diverse population with increasing complexity of needs and conditions and higher expectations from health services. Healthcare costs have been rapidly rising over the past few decades. We face unprecedented challenges with staff shortages predicted to be 18m by 2030. Our one-size-fits-all approach to health doesn’t work: the demand for a more efficient, personalised delivery model is growing.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has pushed the world’s health systems, health workforce, social and political systems to their limits, and sometimes beyond. It has also exposed underlying health inequality and the fragility of some systems. However, the response across the world to the COVID-19 pandemic has also demonstrated the amazing achievements that are possible when governments, communities and people work together against common challenges. We have seen astonishing examples of high quality healthcare delivery in extremely challenging circumstances, and the resilience of governments, healthcare systems and people.
In a world operating beyond the pandemic, traditional approaches to health and wellbeing might no longer be enough.
The current healthcare system is based predominantly on a sick-care model: it is one that waits until we have fallen ill. The Global Social Prescribing Alliance is a group of worldwide partners who recognise that what keeps us well is more than medicine. The Alliance’s vision is to: “Enable thriving communities to deliver a social revolution for their health and wellbeing while generating value”. 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 Alliance has six key principles:
1) Creating a Universal Narrative for redefining health and wellbeing through ‘rethinking medicine’, Personalised Care’, and ‘social prescribing’ in support of Good Health & Wellbeing.
By creating a greater awareness of health as an essential investment to deliver SDG3 - by doing so we can build a clear direction for sustainable healthcare (highlighting waste and low value care as opposed to delivering high impact and value creating healthcare initiatives). Support the creation of Learning Communities, including communities of health professionals, to bring together the best expertise, experiences and practices, contribute to change of attitudes and to learn from each other by measuring, benchmarking and implementing actions across the world (G7/G20).
2) Delivering Clinical Leadership through the development of a global network of clinical champions
Encourage health professionals to take responsibility and feel accountable for increasing value in healthcare, this will result in the freeing of resources from high-value cost of care to reinvest in low-cost and high impact initiatives of a person's health and wellbeing. Support the training of “change agents” (leaders) that feel accountable for the health of the population, including equitable distribution of resources across diseases. Health professionals hold a key role in advocating a change of culture towards social cohesion and connectedness that will support SDG3.
3) Creating innovative Community Development approaches focussed on existing assets and sustainable financial structures (economic model).
Working with financial institutions, government agencies, faith communities etc to support investments (PBII) that deliver high impact SDG3 Good Health and Wellbeing solutions that bring about value creation - improving people’s health and wellbeing, creating new and meaningful jobs while implementing SDG3.
4) Implementing the Building Blocks for Social Prescribing and developing the four zones: Arts - Nature - Exercise and Knowledge/Wisdom (coaching).
Develop a long-term strategy for a value-based approach towards change of culture. This strategy should encompass the definition of a series of goals that support the long-term objective of change (change needs investment and time), moving forward in steps (work plans), including the implementation and monitoring of effects by use of existing data sources and methodologies as well as the creation of mechanisms to further guide the direction of change towards high impact good health and wellbeing.
5) Creating Workforce Solutions for healthcare institutions via new platforms.
Looking for new ways to support recruitment and retention (currently 18m shortfall predicted by 2030) while creating new and meaningful jobs - supporting the COVID19 recovery.
6) Harnessing Digital Solutions to enhance information and meaning.
Support digital initiatives for patients’ engagement in shared decision-making, recognising the importance of patients ́ goals, values and preferences, informed by high quality information to implement empowering practices and goal- oriented person-centred care that deliver high quality and lasting results.
*The opportunity exists to create a sustainable health and social care model that creates value while implementing
the SDG3 (Improving people’s health and wellbeing while creating new and meaningful jobs at scale) - Gareth Presch, CEO, GSPA
The alliance is working closely with existing global networks to bring people together through a comprehensive series of events and webinars focussing on tackling some of the most pressing global health challenges. The alliance was launched in January 2001 by the UK Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.
During the past two and a half years the Alliance has developed a series of products alongside global partners, including a ‘Global Playbook’ for social prescribing, training materials on the establishment of social prescribing, and site visits and teaching sessions bringing international partners together.
The Alliance has also supported the development of an independent global network of partners which is now represented by 30 countries (social prescribing around the world).
The idea is to build a global community of leaders, who were committed to the principles of Social Prescribing, Personalised Care, and Innovation in the field of health and wellbeing.
*GSPA provides support to our local, national and international healthcare colleagues by:
the convening of global meetings, round table events and webinars;
Advice and guidance services on the establishment of Social Prescribing, Personalised Care, and Health and Wellbeing innovation;
Training and development based on the Global Playbook curriculum; and
Bespoke consultancy services to support the development of health initiatives across the world.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org for more details
Social Prescribing Day - 14th March 2024
What is #SocialPrescribingDay?
Social Prescribing Day is an annual celebration of the people, organisations and communities who make social prescribing happen.
Since 2019, thousands of local and national organisations, link workers, medical professionals, academics and students have taken part across the world.
Every year, we bring our communities together to hold events, share ideas and highlight the impact of social prescribing on people and communities.
Together, we want to raise awareness of what social prescribing is, how it works, and how it changes lives.
How to get involved?
You can get involved by hosting events, showcasing your work on social media or highlighting what you’re doing in the media and tag us online.
The next Social Prescribing Day will take place on 14th March 2024 and we'll be launching our new PODCAST so do join us for our LIVE discussion on our Youtube Channel.
Don't forget to use the hashtag #SocialPrescribingDay when sharing!