Westminster Health Forum

Since lockdown, we have been organising our full programme of conferences online. We will continue online until further notice, to ensure we play our part in helping our employees and delegates to remain safe during this time. We are pleased that so many key stakeholders, policymakers and other interested parties - both old friends and new delegates - are taking up the opportunity to discuss public policy issues and network at our impartial seminars. New events are coming on to our conference programme all the time. So there are plenty of opportunities for you to join us if you haven’t already, from wherever you are. For booking-related queries, or information on speaking, please email us at info@forumsupport.co.uk or contact us using one of the following numbers: +44 (0)7951044809 / +044 (0)7503591880 / +44 (0)7538736244.

Next steps for social prescribing in England - commissioning, scaling up, supporting community and vulnerable groups, and learning from COVID-19 crisis

Morning, Thursday, 17th September 2020

Online Conference


***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***

This conference will which will assess the progress and next steps in rolling out social prescribing across England.

Key areas for discussion:

  • The role of social prescribing and social prescribing link workers in the response to COVID-19 with NHS England outlining guidance aimed at increasing social prescribing link work capacity to support people at the highest risk during COVID-19 incident and mobilise local community networks;
  • How social prescribing has adapted during the pandemic - through the use of technology and other innovative approaches to support mental and physical health;
  • Looking beyond the COVID-19 crisis, how the National Academy for Social Prescribing (NASP) should approach its goals in:
    • improving and standardising the quality and range of social prescriptions available to patients across the country;
    • championing the benefits of social prescribing by building and promoting the evidence base;
    • developing and sharing best practice, as well as look at new models and sources of funding;
    • bringing together all partners from health, housing and local government with arts, culture and sporting organisations to maximise the role of social prescribing; and
    • the development of training and accreditations across sectors;
  • Assessing progress in meeting commitments set out in the NHS Long Term Plan to expand social prescribing across England, in the context of wider key areas of focus laid out in the plan, including:
    • reducing health inequalities;
    • delivering community based care; and
    • increasing local accessibility.
  • The challenges and practicalities of all local health and care systems having social prescribing schemes in place by 2023; and
  • The impact of the 23 social prescribing projects in England that received a share of £4.5m from the first round of the Department of Health and Social Care’s Health and Wellbeing Fund.

Developments that are relevant to the discussion:

It takes place with:

The agenda:

  • Assessing the progress of rolling out social prescribing in England and the sector response to COVID-19;
  • Developing the social prescribing workforce - integration and training;
  • The role of social prescribing link workers as part of a Primary Care Network in the COVID-19 response;
  • Commissioning of social prescription and implementation of personalised care - supporting mental and physical health in local communities;
  • Assessing effectiveness and quality - evaluation of outcomes and next steps for developing the evidence base;
  • Promotion, community support, patient engagement, and delivery of social prescription;
    • the voluntary sector as a community asset and in supporting vulnerable at-risk groups,
    • putting prescription into practice - the referral process and partnership with service providers,
    • The role of technology and innovation in social prescribing during the COVID-19 Pandemic and in facilitating self-management of care, and
    • Collaborative Practice: a sustainable approach to Social Prescribing,
    • scaling up innovation and supporting best practice.
  • Long-term goals for establishing best practice, scaling up and the sourcing and allocation of funding.

Policy officials attending:

Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders.

This one looks to be no different. Places have been reserved by officials from the Department for Health and Social Care and the Department for Work and Pensions.

This is a full-scale conference taking place online***

  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!
  • Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference

Keynote Speaker

Dr Michael Dixon

National Clinical Champion Social Prescribing, NHS England; Co-Chair, Social Prescribing Network , Chair Social Prescribing Institute and Chairman, College of Medicine

Keynote Speakers

James Sanderson

Chief Executive, National Academy for Social Prescription and Director of Personalised Care at NHS England and Improvement

Dr Michael Dixon

National Clinical Champion Social Prescribing, NHS England; Co-Chair, Social Prescribing Network , Chair Social Prescribing Institute and Chairman, College of Medicine

Catherine Wills

NHCP Assistant Director, Workforce, Northamptonshire CCGs

Christiana Melam

Chief Executive Officer, National Association of Link Workers


Dr David Smart

Clinical Director, Prevention and Mental Health, General Practice Alliance

Alyson McGregor

National Director, Altogether Better

Dan Lyus

Deputy Chief Executive, South West Academic Health Science Network

Dr Bogdan Chiva Giurca

NHSE National Champion, Social Prescribing and Collaborator, Harvard Global Health Institute

Sarah Jewell

Programme Manager, Age UK

Stephen Critchlow

Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Evergreen Life

Sarah White

Head of Policy, Sense

Sheena Asthana

Professor of Health Policy, School of Law, Criminology and Government, University of Plymouth