Healthy Thinking speaks to social prescribing pioneer Sir Sam Everington about his holistic approach to primary healthcare
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To launch this new series of podcasts from Life Sciences Hub Wales, we hear from Sir Sam Everington - an innovator in general practice and a leading expert of social prescribing. Social prescribing links patients in primary care with sources of support within their local community in order to improve their health and well being. Social prescribing also encourages patients to take greater control of their own health.
Speaking to presenter Sir Mansel Aylward during the podcast, Sir Sam said:
“Probably over 70 percent of people's health and well-being has a whole raft of other factors engaged in it. The evidence is very clear, for example, that if you have a job you will be healthier. If you get any improvement in your education you will be healthier. If you engage creatively you will be healthier. If you've got a good warm home guess what, you're going to be healthier. And so social prescribing, I often call it as a conspiracy to retrain doctors. It's now - and this is really important - it's what matters to somebody which is really important.”
Sir Sam first became a GP in Tower Hamlets in 1989. His transformational approach to preventive and community healthcare in this part of London helped to revolutionise the way primary care is delivered across the UK, eventually leading to his knighthood in 2015.
Now chair of Tower Hamlet’s Clinical Commissioning Group and Vice President of the British Medical Association, Sir Sam talks in this podcast about the benefits of social prescribing and some of the major success stories he has seen over the years.
“We've got one of our programs - a mental health trust (which) reduced acute admissions by a third. That is stunning. How? They open a cafe seven days a week, staffed by mental health workers. That’s social prescribing.”
In our Welsh language sister podcast, Syniadau Iach, Sara Thomas, consultant in Public Health Medicine at Public Health Wales discusses social prescribing and Sir Sam’s work with presenter and Life Sciences Hub Wales Board Member, Rhodri Griffiths. Listen or get a translation of the podcast here.