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Social Prescribing in Waltham Forest 

WF Social Prescribing

Evaluation of Social Prescribing in Waltham Forest

Start Date:  April 2016     End Date:  May 2017      Status: Ongoing: Data collection is being conducted


The Waltham Forest Social Prescribing Pilot is recruiting two social prescribers who will divide their time between a host GP practice and a community resource hub. These individuals will receive referrals from a wide range of health and social care practitioners and will organise non-clinical support packages for clients who have a level of need but who do not meet eligibility criteria for statutory services.    


The main aims of the social prescribing pilot scheme are to:

  • Facilitate access to a range of support services that will enable individuals to significantly improve their health and wellbeing.
  • Increase the role of the VCS in the provision of services and evaluate aspects of the service model prior to wider adoption across the borough.
  • Release specialist capacity across the system, so that individuals with the most intense health and social care needs can receive the care they require despite funding constraints.
  • Increase ‘whole system’ efficiency by preventing deterioration in the service user’s condition and by reducing duplication of care between organisations and professions.
  • Provide ‘seamless’ care by placing the service user at the centre of decision-making and designing packages of interventions around their needs irrespective of provider.  


This research project will conduct an outcome, qualitative and process evaluation.

Outcome evaluation: this will collect data from social prescribing users on their health and well-being, mental well-being, quality of life, demographic profile, and cost. Such data will be collected at baseline and four months follow up.

Qualitative evaluation: researchers will conduct semi-structured telephone interviews with a sample of service users stratified upon (i) those who attended at least three sessions whom are defined as having completed SP; (ii) those who were referred by SPs but attended no sessions with TSOs (stage 1); (iii) those who were referred by health professionals but did not attend any meetings with SPs (stage 2).

Process evaluation: researchers will carry out telephone interviews with health care professionals, CCG, council and GP staff involved in the implementation of the intervention. Two focus groups will be conducted with link workers, and one focus group with third sector organisations involved in the delivery of the intervention.

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Project Lead

Dr Marcello Bertotti

Project Team
Dr Marcello Bertotti, Caroline Frostick

Funder: London Borough of Waltham Forest (LBWF) and Waltham Forest Clinical Commissioning Group (WFCCG)

For more information, contact:

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

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