Sandra MacAllister from NHS Highland talks about a recent event she hosted in partnership with the University of Highlands and Islands (UHI) to celebrate social prescribing.
In partnership with UHI, we organised a social prescribing event in Inverness which was aimed at groups, organisations and services who deliver activities which support social prescribing.
The keynote speaker for our event was Alison Leitch, Assistant Service Manager, Edinburgh Community Link Worker Network and Lead for the Scottish Social Prescribing Network. Further presentations were given by NHS Highlands’s Director of Public Health, NHS Highlands Realistic Medicine lead, the Highland Custody Link Project, the Active Health Project, Change Mental Health’s Community Link Worker project, UHI’s Prescribe Heritage Highland project, and NHS Highland’s Data Protection Officer.
Over 60 individuals attended the event from a wide range of services and organisations and were invited to participate in a range of workshops related to social prescribing including: what is social prescribing, challenges and opportunities, mainstreaming and moving forward with social prescribing, health inequalities and community resources and measuring success and findings from the Prescribe Heritage Highland Project.
Feedback on the day was really positive with on overall rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars. All the speakers were ranked as informative with the Highland Custody Link Project being deemed the most informative. Workshops were rated overall, scoring 4 out of 5. The opportunity to network, the presentations and gaining more understanding of social prescribing were deemed to be the most beneficial take homes from the day. Individuals’ feedback on action and outcomes they may take from attending the event included: further collaboration, increased awareness for signposting/support options and willingness to help shape social prescribing in Highlands. You can see more in the feedback word cloud below:
Over 40 of those who attended indicated they would be interested in being part of a Highland social prescribing network.
A further event linking social prescribing and realistic medicine, aimed at primary and secondary care professionals with an interest in these areas, is planned for September.
Sandra MacAllister is Senior Health Improvement Specialist at NHS Highland. She is also a member of the Scottish Community Link Worker Network’s advisory group.