Social prescribing and community-based support: Summary guide

NHS England | January 2019 | Social prescribing and community-based support: Summary guide

NHS England have released Social prescribing and community-based support: Summary guide- the guide is intended for people and organisations leading local implementation of social prescribing.


The Social Prescribing Summary Guide is intended for people and organisations leading local implementation of social prescribing. It enables:

  • increased understanding of what good social prescribing looks like and why social prescribing improves outcomes and experiences for people, their families and carers, as well as achieving more value from the system
  • commissioning of local social prescribing connector schemes, enabling all general practices, local authorities and other agencies to refer people with wider social needs to community-based support
  • collaborative working amongst all local partners at a ‘place-based’ local level, to recognise the value of community groups and assets and to enable people to build or rebuild friendships, community connections and a sense of belonging, as well as accessing existing services.

Social prescribing and community-based support Summary guide



Community health services explained

The King’s Fund | January 2019 | Community health services explained

Every year community services have around 100 million patient contacts, accounting for £10 billion of the NHS budget and 20 per cent of the total NHS workforce.  Community services are a diverse sector;  as they cover a range of services  from those targeted at people living with complex health and care needs – such as district nursing and palliative care – to health promotion services – such as school nursing and health visiting. Community services play a key role in keeping people well, treating and managing acute illness and long-term conditions, and supporting people to live independently in their own homes. 


Despite their vital contribution, community services are poorly understood compared to other parts of the NHS. In this explainer, The King’s Fund set out what these services are, the challenges they are facing and how they are changing (Source: The King’s Fund).

Ways of integrating care that better coordinate services may benefit patients

NIHR | December 2018 | Ways of integrating care that better coordinate services may benefit patients

In one of its latest Signals, the NIHR highlights a systematic review identified 267 pieces of literature from the UK and countries with a comparable economy, all published from 2006onwards, which analysed and described new models of integrated care. 

The review- funded by the NIHR-  looked at the international literature to understand how new care models may affect patients, providers and systems. Almost half of the 267 studies came from the UK. Most investigated integrated care pathways, often as part of a multicomponent intervention including multidisciplinary teams and some form of case management. Most studies focused on older people.



The review finds some positives, but overall highlights the complexity of implementing and assessing new models of care. The reviewers found the complexity and variability of interventions across the literature, a hindrance in understanding the effect of specific changes. Most studies were at risk of bias, with few comparison studies as these are often not appropriate for organisational research (Source: NIHR).

Read the NIHR Signal in full here 

Published abstract here



Joined-up listening: integrated care and patient insight

The King’s Fund | August 2018 | Joined-up listening: integrated care and patient insight

A new long read from The King’s Fund underlines the opportunity that integrated care presents for using insight from people and populations to design services that meet their needs and reflect their priorities. For the think-tank this includes breaking down siloes within and between organisations to listen to what patients are saying across their entire pathway of care (Source: The King’s Fund).



The long read covers:

  • The importance of patient insight
  • Interpreting and acting on patient insight
  • Sharing what we’ve learnt
  • Everyone’s business
  • It’s not just one method
  • An opportunity to do things differently
  • Local government inclusion

Read it in full here 

A year of integrated care systems

The King’s Fund | A year of integrated care systems

A year after the first integrated care systems were announced by NHS England, The King’s Fund online event brought local, national and international experts together to discuss how integrated care systems are developing, how the systems can involve key partners, and how learning from international examples of large-scale change can inform our efforts.

Discussion during the event included:

  • how integrated care systems are developing
  • how these systems can involve key partners – including patients, the community, clinicians and wider public services – in efforts to integrate care
  • how learning from international examples of large-scale change can inform these efforts.

Full details from The King’s Fund