Intelligent Health is set to launch its new social prescription programme to help reduce costs for the NHS and improve outcomes for patients.
Following several years of development with Luton Borough Council and West Ham United Foundation, Intelligent Health’s social prescription system utilises cutting-edge technology to help health practitioners track patients and enable patients to find local, community services which best suit them.
Social prescription is a programme where GPs, nurses and other primary care professionals will refer patients to non-clinical services such as walking clubs and self-help groups. It aims to improve people’s health by addressing the social, economic and environmental cause of ill-health.
A 2015 report by the Citizen Advice Bureau found that GPs in England spend almost one fifth of their time on social issues that are not principally about health. Nesta’s People Powered Health programme suggests that social prescription could reduce the cost of managing patients with a long-term condition by 20%.
Dr William Bird, CEO and Founder of Intelligent Health, said: “Social prescription is in Intelligent Health’s DNA — from the first health walk schemes I helped set up in 1996 to Beat the Street, we know that connecting patients to their environment and giving them a sense of purpose can have huge health benefits.
“We are incredibly excited to be taking the next step in our mission to build active communities. Our social prescription system will not only provide significant savings to healthcare providers, but it could create lasting and significant changes in health for patients across the UK.”
Sanjeev Kumar, Social Prescription and Community Involvement Manager for Luton Borough Council, said: “The use of technology is every increasing in everyday life, and with it brings benefits like efficiency and instant communication. Time is often a critical factor when supporting the health of individuals and the Intelligent Health provision by supporting Social prescription enables this across Luton.”