News from Dr Onkar Sahota: Funding up for grabs for social prescribing initiatives

21 August 2019

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News release

21.08.2019

For immediate use

 

Funding up for grabs for small organisations looking to boost social prescribing initiatives

 

Local London Assembly Member, Dr Onkar Sahota AM, is calling upon local organisations to apply for Team London’s social prescribing Small Grants programme. Dr Sahota claims that social prescribing initiatives could help to “alleviate the strain” on NHS services and address “the growing issue of loneliness and isolation” in the capital.

 

Social prescribing aims to ease pressures on health services by boosting the wellbeing of patients through appropriate non-clinical measures, such as referrals to community services, which could offer access to social, fitness or arts and culture initiatives.

 

Through City Hall’s volunteering programme, Team London, grants are now available for smaller organisations in the capital seeking to start or expand initiatives that use social prescribing to alleviate the issues of social isolation and loneliness within their communities.

 

Eligible organisations can apply for the Small Grants scheme online by the deadline of 13th September 2019.

 

In his Health Inequalities Strategy, the Mayor of London identifies social prescribing as a vital tool in creating a fairer and healthier city.

 

NHS England has reported that at around half of GP appointments are not booked in relation to a specific medical condition.

 

The NHS Long-Term Plan proposes to recruit 1,000 social prescribing ‘link workers’, tasked with supporting patients to access activities and services that provide a more effective alternative to medication.

 

The NHS has projected that in the next five years, social prescribers will be overseeing around 900,000 patient appointments annually.

 

Local London Assembly Member, Dr Onkar Sahota AM, said:

 

“We are seeing significant financial and resourcing pressures being placed upon GP surgeries and health services in the capital.

 

“Alongside the allocation of more funding, we need to explore more effective ways to ensure that Londoners are accessing the treatment they need.

 

“This is where social prescribing can make a huge difference, alleviating some of the strain on NHS services and helping to address the growing issue of loneliness and isolation in our communities.

 

“Smaller, local organisations have a vital role to play here and this is why I am urging them to apply for this funding that has been made available by City Hall”.

 

ENDS

 

Notes

 

  • More information about Team London’s Small Grants programme and link to the application process can both be accessed here;

 

  • The Mayor of London’s Health Inequalities Strategy can be read here;

 

  • NHS England has reported that at around half of GP appointments are not booked in relation to a specific medical condition;

 

  • The NHS Long Term Plan can be found here;

 

  • The NHS has projected that in the next five years, social prescribers will be overseeing around 900,000 patient appointments annually;

 

  • Dr Onkar Sahota AM is the London Assembly Member for Ealing and Hillingdon.

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