Social prescribing is an example of the person-centred work that One Northern Devon promotes. There has been an inequity of access to a social prescriberwithin the communities of North Devon and Torridge for many years. There has been a patchwork of provision, some of it voluntary, some of it publicly funded but no overall sight of everything that is available, nor a mechanism to compare models or outcomes.
One Northern Devon has created two structures – the OND Communities Group and the OND Social Prescribing Network – which will enable the system to:
- understand the social prescribing provision currently available
- identify the gaps in that provision
- seek to ensure equity of provision by sourcing funding to fill those gaps; and
- monitor the activity and outcomes of the various social prescribing schemes.
The One Northern Devon Social Prescribing Network was created following feedback from social prescribing practitioners that they often felt isolated in their role without peers to support them. The network now includes 17 practitioners ranging from volunteers, those employed as PCN link workers, to those funded by other public bodies. Meetings are held every 6 weeks, and complex cases are discussed anonymously with practitioners across the locality offering advice and support such as joint visits. In addition, the group has carried out a baseline training needs assessment and booked training sessions to address those needs such as motivational interviewing techniques and suicide awareness.
 We are using the term Social Prescriber here to include Community Connectors and other forms of link worker