How NASP can support the development of social prescribing in Primary Care Networks and Integrated Care Systems. 

This is a guest blog from Najnin Islam, Head of Healthcare Integration at the National Academy for Social Prescribing (NASP), a member of the Personalised Care Institute (PCI) Steering Group.

It outlines what resources are available from NASP to support health and care systems to maximise social prescribing and provide personalised care to their local communities. 

Social prescribing has paved the way in addressing the social determinants of health and is a core part of the personalised care offer in primary care. With increasing deprivation, winter pressures and high demand across all of the primary care workforce, it’s important to maximise the support offered for Primary Care Networks (PCNs). 

The National Academy for Social Prescribing (NASP) is a registered charity, founded in 2019. Our core purpose is to advocate and advance social prescribing nationally and internationally. We recently published an academic review of current evidence demonstrating the economic benefits of social prescribing with studies suggesting a social return on investment varying between £2.14 and £8.56 for every £1 invested, as well as a reduced demand on the NHS. 

NASP has worked hard to co-create a range of resources to support PCNs and ICSs (Integrated Care Systems) to embed high quality social prescribing to meet local population needs. We now have a faculty of expert staff, including Senior Advisers, who work nationally to support systems to embed, deliver and advance social prescribing, and we are keen to support as many PCNs and ICSs as possible.  

PCN support 

We recognise that PCNs may need support for maximising the Additional roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS) funding for social prescribing. We have created a range of resources to support PCNs, which include:

Financial Wellbeing ARRS Guide – This shows the various ways that financial advice and financial wellbeing can be worked into the social prescribing offer using the ARRS allocation for social prescribing link worker role.  

NASP Link Worker Induction Guide – In 2022 NASP formed a Link Worker Advisory Group and created a practical induction guide with materials to support clinical supervisors too. This will support new link workers to ease into the role with in-depth guidance.

Children and Young People ARRS Guide – A guide on how to maximise ARRS by upskilling youth workers will be available soon.

Training – We are excited to announce we will be launching a practitioner-led training offer early in 2024, prices are dependent on cohort size and modules selected. Topics covered include: ‘Introduction to Social Prescribing’, ‘Evaluation, monitoring and measuring impact’ and ‘Developing support plans’ with peer learning opportunities and a focus on the practical day to day elements of the role. 

WebinarsSign up to our webinars or catch up on our previous webinars that include support on GP Access and Physical Activity & ‘Miracle Cure’ in action. 

Clinical Champions programme – Following the success of our initial champions programme we will be launching a free Social Prescribing Champions scheme for NHS staff in December. More information on the amazing work of our current champions programme can be found here.

ICS support 

We are fully committed to supporting ICSs and PCNs to realise the full value of high quality social prescribing, which can create a positive economic impact and reduce NHS pressure. We have strategic partnerships with national bodies including NHS England, NAVCA, Natural England, Arts Council England, Sport England and Independent Age, and so are uniquely positioned to enable mature social prescribing into integrated care systems. 

Our core offer to ICSs is at no cost to systems, and includes sector-specific and thematic support, such as toolkits for ‘Green’ nature-based social prescribing, development guides on Children and Young People’s social prescribing and health condition-specific evidence and guidance. 

We also have a consultancy offer such as curating training packages for link workers and wider primary care staff on social prescribing, that include leadership development skills and delivering a training needs analysis to develop bespoke training.  

Get in touch 

Our support offers at NASP have been helpful for PCNs and ICSs, with Dr Mohsin Salahuddin (GP and Clinical Director North West Surrey Integrated Care Services (NICS) Limited) reporting: ‘NASP resources have been invaluable in helping us to maximise the benefits of Social Prescribing within our PCN. The team at NASP have been incredibly helpful in providing support to our PCN and I would certainly recommend PCNs make use of the wide ranging resources NASP have available.’ 

To understand more about NASP’s no cost offer or our training offers, please approach an expert team member at

The PCI and Social Prescribing 

Social prescribing link workers are required to complete NHS England e-learning programme training accessed via the PCI website, as outlined in NHS workforce development framework, to ensure they have an excellent knowledge of personalised care approaches and skills.

In addition to this mandatory training, the PCI offers an extensive and unrivalled range of online and offline learning resources designed to equip them with the necessary skills to deliver quality personalised care that transforms people’s health and wellbeing. You can view its extensive selection of training here

Scroll to Top