Why social prescribing should form part of back to work support

Why social prescribing should form part of back to work support

It’s Social Prescribing Day on 14th March. And on this day, there are events planned across England, to help showcase the value of social prescribing and local projects that have delivered impact – anything and everything from community gardens, sports and weight & health management, to music, crafts and storytelling. But how does that translate to a workplace context?

Social prescribing probably isn’t something that HR or Line Managers would immediately think about in relation to early intervention or rehabilitation. But it’s certainly something that is on the NHS radar, with an increasing number of GP surgeries now employing ‘social prescribers’.

And it’s also something on the Department for Work & Pensions radar, with its new WorkWell pilot set to launch this April. Social prescribing represents one of the initiatives on offer as part of this government-funded referral scheme.

WorkWell, together with a voluntary Occupational Health framework for employers – due to launch this summer – seem central to government plans to help the long-term sick stay in work or return to work.

Of course, none of this takes the onus away from employers when it comes to creating the conditions for employee wellbeing. Neither does it replace or negate the need for whole person – or biopsychosocial – support when there’s a risk that an absence might become long-term without early intervention.

A consideration of the whole person is central to the way in which we, at Generali UK, provide Vocational Rehabilitation support as part of Group Income Protection.

To find out more on the role of social prescribing as part of return to work support, contact us for a link to the recording of our recent webinar on this topic. Email: eb.enquiries@generali.co.uk