Widening inequalities in health, the cost-of-living crisis, and increasing non-communicable disease have contributed to the growth of social prescribing in high income countries. General practitioners and other healthcare professionals refer patients to a link worker, and a “What matters to you?” conversation enables co-production of a social prescription that connects patients to voluntary and community groups for support.
Nature based activities, such as gardening, care farming, open water swimming, or walking in nature, which may include formal therapy or a mindfulness component, are a core type of referral known as green social prescribing which also encompasses blue activities that take place in or near water.
The NHS is committed to rolling out social prescribing across England. Since 2019, there have been 2.5 million referrals through 3475 additional link workers