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Reading Matters - A new resource for social prescribers from Improving Me

A blueprint for wellbeing

Improving Me, NHS Cheshire and Merseyside’s women’s health and maternity programme, adopted a health creation policy through a dedicated creative health work stream back in 2014 to promote wellbeing throughout the life course.

This work focused on understanding and demonstrating the many advantages of addressing the wider determinants of health and the range of benefits accruing from the development of novel non-clinical interventions, by harnessing the arts and culture for women and children’s wellbeing. 

Building on the Creative Health Inquiry, Improving Me launched a Social Prescribing Concordat for Creative Health as part of NHS70 celebrations and then commissioned the Women and Children’s Creative Health Handbook: Wellbeing by Design to bring together key case studies and resources to support wider awareness, understanding and adoption.

Given 79% of the NHS workforce and 84% of the social care workforce are women, it wasn’t a surprise to learn from the 2022 NHS England survey of social prescribers that 85% of this workforce are also women.

It also didn’t take much of a stretch to start to consider how these creative non-clinical interventions could impact positively on the healthcare workforce as well as their patients, after all, everyone is a patient at some point in their lives.

This occasional paper reflects our commitment to creative health and highlights the role and value placed on social prescribing, so what better way to mark International Social Prescribing Day than producing an introductory resource on the place of creative health in supporting link worker wellbeing, and all women’s health and wellbeing.

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