We released our report on Awareness of social prescribing in Buckinghamshire in August 2022. In October, we received a response to our recommendations from Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West Integrated Care Board (BOB ICB).

In our report, we explained that while awareness of social prescribing was low in Buckinghamshire, people were very positive about the benefits it could offer.

We recommended that BOB ICB work with local Primary Care Networks (PCNs) and general practices to raise awareness of social prescribing, increasing local knowledge of both what it is and how to use it.

We suggested that this might involve:

  • Displaying more posters in general practice waiting areas
  • Sharing information about social prescribing with Patient Participation Groups (PPGs)
  • Encouraging the sharing and displaying of posters about social prescribing in community hubs
  • Holding briefings for local councillors and other key stakeholders to increase their knowledge of social prescribing
  • Targeting advertising to help reach specific groups, such as men or people aged over 56.

BOB ICB’s response

BOB ICB has now responded to our recommendations, stating a clear intent to implement them. Information about social prescribing will be made easier to understand. It will also become more widely available through plans to distribute it within communities, to key stakeholders, to PPGs and via waiting rooms.

BOB ICB has also undertaken to consider addressing key target groups with information about social prescribing and asked us to review the impact of the changes it intends to make in 2023.

In her letter to Healthwatch Bucks, Dr Rachael De Caux, Acting Chief Executive, BOB ICB, said:

We are very grateful for the findings and recommendations from this piece of work. Your findings confirm to us that there is a lot of work to be done to raise the awareness of social prescribing to our population.

Our Primary Care Networks are working hard to realise the value of social prescribing and we now have over 30 social prescribing link workers employed in GP practices across the county. Your results present a clear need to ensure that our residents know how to access this support available to them.

We’d like to thank BOB ICB for its timely response to our recommendations.


Response from BOB ICB to Awareness of social prescribing in Bucks

Update from BOB ICB on its response to Healthwatch Bucks

Published on 11 Oct, 2022 (updated 3 Jun, 2024)

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