Social prescribing is a way to enable primary care to refer individuals to a range of non-medical services offered by community-based organisations. It aims to empower consumers to improve their health and wellbeing and social welfare by building skills to manage their health, complementing traditional forms of medical and health care.
To do this we need to create and maintain a network between primary care and the community sector. We also need to provide community-based organisations with appropriate resources and tools to manage and respond to the individual needs of customers.
Social prescribing will enable streamlined communication between primary care and community-based organisations, supporting a feedback loop on the consumer’s progress.
The partnership of the Brimbank Collaboration (Brimbank City Council and Australian Health Policy Collaboration at Victoria University), IPC Health and North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network will jointly plan, adapt, deliver and test a model of social prescribing over a three-stage process:
- Stage 1 (12 months): development and evaluation, utility and feasibility testing in the Deer Park GP centre
- Stage 2* (12 months): full implementation in Deer Park and other areas in Brimbank
- Stage 3* (18 months – 2 years): scaling uptake and sustainability, in the west of Melbourne and Victoria
*Dependent on funding.