Start Date:  March 2014     End Date: June 2014      Status: Completed

Long-term conditions, health inequalities and the rising cost of health to the NHS are calling for the development of a new approach to healthcare alongside the dominant bio-medical model.

The Newham Community Prescribing (NCP) pilot is part of this new approach. It is centred upon people's choice, well-being, prevention, management of health conditions, is delivered by a team of people including doctors, nurses, but also community organisations and community workers; and where medical and social approaches are integrated to create a new hybrid (Horne et al, 2013). In the NCP pilot, pre-diabetic and diabetic people are referred by their GP to community navigators who meet patients and discuss what type of physical activity is most suitable to them. Patients are then referred to suitably accredited organisations in the community and voluntary sector to attend physical activity classes for a period of 12 weeks. 


The aim of this qualitative research is to collect information about the experience of patients who completed a number of physical activity sessions and, more widely, to identify and discuss key lessons from the delivery of the NCP pilot project to inform future policy decisions in relation to extending community prescribing to the rest of Newham.

This qualitative study has the following key objectives:

  1. To describe the experience of the Newham Community Prescribing pilot participants in order to understand the extent to which the pilot has had a change on their health and well-being.
  2. To examine what lessons may be learnt from the implementation of the pilot to inform future policy decisions at Newham Clinical Commissioning Group and beyond.


We conducted a qualitative evaluation looking at two aspects of the pilot: (i) the experience of participants who have completed 12 weeks of physical activity; (ii) the experience of all stakeholders in relation to the implementation of the pilot. We also conducted a literature review which examined lessons for implementation of similar initiative across the UK and reviewed the evidence on the impact of different Social Prescribing models on participants. 


Available upon request

Contact us

Project Lead: Dr Marcello Bertotti

Project Team: Loreta Martinaityte, Ruby Farr 

Funder: Commissioned by Newham Clinical Commissioning Group

For more information, contact:

Dr Marcello Bertotti, Senior Research Fellow, IHHD
t:  +44(0)20 8223 4139; e:

Dr Marcello Bertotti

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