Social Prescribing

Social prescribing operates alongside existing medical treatments or as a stand-alone service to provide non-medical support within the local community.

Taurus Healthcare delivers the Social Prescribing service in Herefordshire on behalf of the Primary Care Networks (PCNs). The service enables healthcare professionals to link patients with all sorts of non-medical support. Working closely with colleagues in Herefordshire Council, it recognises that our health and well-being can be affected by a wide range of factors – including social, environmental and economic.

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What is Social Prescribing?

A view from Casey, Social Prescriber for Herefordshire North and West Primary Care Network 

(Pictured right) 

Every day is different, I meet different people, organisations and learn something new. I like the variety!

My weeks include receiving referrals from different GP surgeries in the North and West Primary Care Network area. My surgeries are predominantly Mortimer Medical Practice and Tenbury Surgery, as we are fortunate enough to have two other social prescribers covering the other practices locally.

Referring and supporting

Referrals are for people whose social situations are impacting on their health and well-being. We work together to come up with a plan to help improve their quality of life. This could be helping someone who is feeling lonely in their role as a carer, perhaps caring for their spouse. I support them to link in to carer support services and local groups to increase their social connection and support networks. Another example maybe someone who's experiencing anxiety and mobility issues. During our discussions they may decide to join the local aqua fit class alongside weekly talking therapy from the healthy minds service – and I can help them to access these.


My role is a connector. To do this, I need to listen to what a person feels can help them and what barriers they have to making changes. We explore and acknowledge these. Some can be overcome and others worked around. There is no magic wand, but we do live in a very supportive community area. These connections and support from family, neighbours, friends, volunteers, charities, local shops and businesses really do make a difference to people's health. I want to celebrate our community and say thank you for everything you do.

Group interventions 

Another area of my work involves offering targeted group interventions. Most recently, Mortimer’s health coach, and I have been delivering group well-being sessions. These groups have been offered to patients newly diagnosed with hypertension (high blood pressure) who are registered at Tenbury Wells practice.

The group sessions take place over six weeks. The first session is with a GP discussing the biology of what high blood pressure is, its affects on the body and commonly prescribed medication. Following sessions include nutrition, stress management, movement, sleep, and a follow up GP session to answer any clinical questions which have arisen over the weeks. The focus of the well-being sessions is to pull together coaching and social prescribing elements of well-being to help support a collective of people with similar experiences and conditions.

This group programme is being piloted at Tenbury surgery with the hope that more well-being group programmes will be adopted by further surgeries in the future.

Working within communities

A third main area of my role is working within the communities where my patients live. This can range from researching local support to attending meetings, groups, classes, AGMs, coffee mornings, etc. These activities help me to be more aware of what assets and resources we have available locally to share and link patients into.

I am also privileged in my role to hear from patients, health professionals and other members of the community as to what they feel is missing in our community. I work with local councils, including Herefordshire Council’s Talk Community service, to raise community concerns to enable data to be captured that will help inform the future focus of resources.

How you can get involved in improving your community's facilities

I would encourage everyone to do this. If you want more community facilities or even better still, you would like to set something up locally yourself, talk to your Parish Council, Talk Community Development Managers and HVOSS (Herefordshire, Voluntary Organisations’ Support Service) who will be able to help you and your community. 

Feedback received about the service from both patients and clinicians alike has been very positive, including:

“I thought you’d really like to know … that my patient thinks you are an absolute star and have helped him SO much :o) Big ‘up’ to Crista Gaunt! Virtual cuppa made for you.”

From a Herefordshire GP

"I think you helped push me in the right direction, doing more exercise at home and out walking has helped me a lot. Thank you."

Patient feedback

"The support has gone above and beyond any expectations I might have had."

Patient feedback

"I feel the support you have given me has brought me out of my dark hole. I am coping with things I couldn't do before. I have a new determination and it's all down to you."

Patient feedback

"The advice given to me has been very useful, I no longer feel trapped I now feel I have a choice."

Patient feedback

"Once I’d accessed the support of my social prescriber it opened up the doors for other support that is out there."

Patient feedback

"It is very supportive and suggests ways to help me that I never even knew existed."

Patient feedback

"I wouldn’t have had a clue about all of the help available to me if it wasn’t for this service."

Patient feedback

“You made me see myself again and I haven’t done that for years. I was just a mum and now I am me again.”

Patient feedback

Social prescribing in practice

Supporting social prescribing link workers

A series of short films featuring people who are actively involved in social prescribing talking about the difference that social prescribing can make to people, communities and systems


As at 18 January 2023


Referrals have been received by the Social Prescribing service


Contacts have been made


Community groups have been connected with patients