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

Our report explained that most people who were referred to a social prescriber were happy or very happy to meet with them. Most people also had a positive impression of social prescribing following their use of the service.

In order to help improve access to social prescribing services in Bucks, we made a series of recommendations to BOB ICB, including:

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

BOB ICB’s response

In its response to our recommendations, BOB ICB has committed to working with Buckinghamshire Council on implementing them. It aims to further enhance the social prescribing services across our county.

BOB ICB has said it will:

  • Ensure that staff at GP practices and in Primary Care Networks (PCNs) are informing patients with transport needs how to access the Buckinghamshire Community Transport Hub
  • Continue to work with PCNs and GPs to publicise the social prescribing service
  • Encourage PCNs that have not yet set up a ‘talking café’ to consider the idea
  • Investigate the barriers affecting waiting times to the Memory Clinic.

In a letter to Healthwatch Bucks, Philippa Baker, Place Director for Buckinghamshire, said:

The ICB placed social prescribers in our primary care settings for the first time three years ago. The remit of a social prescribing link worker is to give people time, focusing on ‘what matters to me’ and taking a holistic approach to people’s health and wellbeing. Therefore, it is encouraging to hear users of this service mention ‘the time social prescribers had to listen to them’ as a benefit.

We would like to thank you for the recommendations laid out in the report which provides us with valuable user feedback to further enhance the social prescribing services in Buckinghamshire.

BOB ICB has asked Healthwatch Bucks to conduct a follow up review of social prescribing in 2023, to assess the impact of the changes it intends to make.

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

Downloads

BOB ICB response to Experiences of social prescribing

Update from BOB ICB on its response to Healthwatch Bucks

 

 

Published on 21 Dec, 2022 (updated 3 Jun, 2024)

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