369. The National Academy for Social Prescribing and NHS England Personalized Care Department, London, UK

What is Personalized Care? Personalized Care will benefit up to 2.5 million people by 2024, giving them the same choice and control over their mental and physical health that they have come to expect in every other aspect of their life. A one-size-fits-all health and care system simply cannot meet the increasing complexity of people’s needs and expectations. Personalised care is based on ‘what matters’ to people and their individual strengths and needs. But you may wonder – what exactly do we mean by ‘Personalized Care?’ Watch this short explanatory video taking you through the core principles of the Comprehensive Personalized Care Model built in the UK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXOd-7rn6so&feature=youtu.be

What is Social Prescribing? It has been estimated that 25% of patients mainly consult their doctor for social problems and welfare advice. For this group of patients, the medical model alone falls short of meeting true patient needs. Social prescribing (SP) aims to complement the medical model, alleviate current pressures and address unmet needs. Social prescribing is enabling healthcare professionals to refer patients to a ‘link’ or ‘community’ worker, to co-design a non-clinical social prescription to improve the patient’s health and wellbeing. A short video can also be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O9azfXNcqD8

What is the National Social Prescribing Academy? The National Academy for Social Prescribing was launched by the United Kingdom Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, the Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP, on the 23 October 2019. The Academy creates partnerships, across the arts, health, sports, leisure, and the natural environment, alongside other aspects of our lives, to promote health and wellbeing at a national and local level. We will champion social prescribing and the work of local communities in connecting people for wellbeing.

Our objectives:

  1. Raising the global profile of Personalised Care and more specifically Social prescribing - In order to expand social prescribing, we need to get the message out there – that connecting people for wellbeing is vital for people and communities.
  2. Develop innovative funding partnerships - We recognise the challenges faced by social prescribing link workers, the local voluntary, community, social enterprise and arts sector and will seek to improve resources to realise their social prescribing goals.
  3. Build national and international relationships - Social prescribing relies on strong, mature relationships and collaborations at international, national, and local levels across multiple sectors.
  4. Shape and share the evidence basis  - There is already an evidence base for social prescribing, but it is not comprehensive. We need to build a consensus about what we know and don’t know, improve accessibility and visibility of evidence.
  5. Promote learning on social prescribing - We will share what is good, what has been learnt and draw from multiple sources to ensure continued development of social prescribing.

Websites

https://www.england.nhs.uk/personalisedcare/  and https://socialprescribingacademy.org.uk/

Summer Projects

There are two main projects which would be highly beneficial to students with an interest in global health, advocacy, social determinants of health, and public health. Please indicate in your personal statement which project or projects are of interest to you.

1) Supporting the development of a national multidisciplinary Clinical Champion Scheme. The aims of the Clinical Champion Scheme are:

  • To develop a large national (and perhaps international) network of multidisciplinary healthcare professionals
  • To raise awareness of the role that Social Prescribing can play in reducing healthcare inequalities, giving people more control, allowing them to work on what truly matters to them
  • To connect multidisciplinary professionals who share the same goal
  • To unify multidisciplinary parties with a shared leadership emphasis, trying to ensure core learning happens in a multi- and interprofessional environment and that we are changing the conversation around health to fully emphasize the biopsychosocial model

2) Supporting the development of a Global Academy for Social Prescribing in collaboration with various bodies. The aims of the Global Academy for Social Prescribing are:

  • To develop an international alliance to raise awareness of social prescribing
  • To develop a universal language for social prescribing
  • To unify parties and enhance worldwide collaboration
  • To develop means for sharing good practice
  • To build an environment that harnesses innovation and supports implementation

The two initiatives will most likely have areas of overlap which will benefit two interns joining as a pair.

Both initiatives represent large scale projects which have the potential to positively impact on the lives of millions as well as the potential to influence local and global healthcare policy.

Responsibilities

Interns will be embedded into the national and international team for the duration of their internship with the possibility of being involved in the scoping, development, and piloting stages of the two above initiatives. Responsibilities include supporting the development of various project proposals, data gathering and analysis, attending presentations and team gatherings, developing a universal language for social prescribing which will benefit the global picture (this will be done in collaboration with the UN and WHO), building and maintaining collaborations as well as disseminating innovation and learning materials through a range of platforms.

Qualifications

Essential:

  • interest in global and public health as well as global advocacy
  • good understanding of social determinants of health and the idea of a ‘bio-psycho-social’ model of care
  • enthusiasm and commitment
  • ability to work as part of a team
  • ability to stick to deadlines
  • flexible and adaptable in new learning environments

Desirable skills:

  • previous public or global health involvement (including voluntary work / other placements or work experience in the past)
  • thinking outside the box with a strong desire to transform and innovate
  • previous experience of project development / data handling
  • ambition to pursue a career in public / global health
  • good understanding of what we mean by ‘meeting patients halfway’, co-designing treatment, sharing decisions, and working in partnerships with our patients

Work Environment

Due to current lockdown circumstances and the new COVID19 variant escalating within the UK, most of our work will be conducted virtually. Weekly team meetings, coffee breaks as well as 1:1 meetings will be taking place virtually. We will ensure we account for the time difference between the UK and US.

There will be several opportunities to interact with the rest of the team members as well as UK medical students and other interns as part of this placement. You will have the opportunity to meet a variety of stakeholders – from voluntary sector organisations, to clinicians, healthcare policy advisers, politicians, and several others.

We would like to think that we are a friendly, open minded, yet highly ambitious group.

Independence

On a scale of 0 to 5, the level of internship supervision from very little (0) to a great deal (5) will be a 4. Supervision will be offered initially and throughout the placement to ensure interns accommodate within the new environment