We wanted to find out about people’s experiences of social prescribing in Buckinghamshire.

  • We developed a short survey and did 14 phone interviews with people who had talked to a social prescriber in 2022.
  • We also collected 16 responses in person at three social prescribing ‘talking cafes’ in July, August and September 2022.
  • A further 17 people completed the survey online after receiving a link from a social prescriber or voluntary organisation.
  • We also spoke to five social prescribers about the issues they face when trying to get people engaged with new activities or organisations that might be able to help them.

Key findings

  • Most people told us they were happy or very happy about being referred to a social prescriber.
  • Most people said they had a positive impression following their use of the social prescribing service.
  • Respondents said they found speaking with a social prescriber helpful and appreciated their time and support – though there were some issues with getting more support afterwards.
  • 86% of the people we spoke to said their health and / or wellbeing had improved because of the new activities or organisations they’d become involved with – and several said the social prescribing service should be better publicised.

Our recommendations

We’ve made recommendations to Buckinghamshire Council and Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West Integrated Care Board (BOB ICB).

These include:

  • Recommendations on improving the provision of accessible, affordable transport
  • Extending the support available to people who need help with claiming benefits, and
  • Ensuring that social prescribing services are promoted and supported.


Social Prescribing: Experiences in Buckinghamshire – Full report

BOB ICB’s response to the report 

Buckinghamshire Council’s response to the report

BOB ICB’s update on its response to Healthwatch Bucks

Published on 21 Nov, 2022 (updated 6 Jul, 2023)

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2 comments on "Experiences of social prescribing in Buckinghamshire"

  • Commenter said on 10th December 2022

    Social Prescribing is invaluable but it is difficult to know how to end the session. I have been a Prescriber and all but one person I felt could continue with out me. I felt this lady needed more support. Of course I reported this back to our Social Prescriber with hopes there was another avenue of help that could follow. I wonder how many other people feel this and wonder if this is then referred back to the GP? or another support organisation?

  • Commenter said on 30th July 2023

    2 years ago I was a Social Prescriber. The last Commenter was the reason I discontinued. My links needs’ were greater than offering a social activity in the time allocated by the system. Perhaps extra time with the patient is partly an answer?

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