Holistic care looks at the patient as a whole, considering their needs beyond the physical, such as social, psychological, emotional, economic and spiritual needs.
Social prescribing recognises that health is more than healthcare, with these holistic factors all playing a role. It tries to address these by referring on to organisations outside of healthcare. Migrants can be in isolated and vulnerable positions, and may benefit from community links.
An example of social prescribing below shows the range of services involved.
Jenny was seen by her GP, who referred her for antenatal care. The social prescribing in Jenny’s case involved:
The following information is taken from the King's Fund page on social prescribing, linked to below (King's Fund 2017).
Social prescribing, sometimes referred to as community referral, is a means of enabling GPs, nurses and other primary care professionals to refer people to a range of local, non-clinical services.
Those who could benefit from social prescribing schemes include people with mild or long-term mental health problems, vulnerable groups, people who are socially isolated, and those who frequently attend either primary or secondary health care.
There is emerging evidence that social prescribing can lead to a range of positive health and well-being outcomes. Studies have pointed to improvements in areas such as quality of life and emotional wellbeing, mental and general wellbeing, and levels of depression and anxiety. For more information, see the King's Fund link.
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