Newcastle social prescribing service receives royal approval

Board members and beneficiaries of Ways to Wellness, a Newcastle-based social prescribing service, met with HRH Prince Charles this week during his visit to the North East.

Ways to Wellness, which was originally supported and hosted by VONNE, was launched in April 2015. Through GP referral, the social prescribing service supports people in the west of Newcastle whose daily lives are affected by certain long-term health conditions. Specialist link workers work with clients to explore and tackle the root causes of their symptoms, which are often linked to factors such as unemployment, debt, addiction, poor diet and poor housing.

VONNE’s Health and Wellbeing Associate Jane Hartley was among those who spoke to Prince Charles at Newcastle’s Discovery Museum on Tuesday, in her role as Vice Chair of Ways to Wellness. The prince is himself a long-term supporter of social prescribing, having previously highlighted the importance of looking beyond “pills and procedures” and adopting a more holistic view of healthcare.

Ways to Wellness Chief Executive, Sandra Mitchell-Phillips, said: “Prince Charles has long recognised the vital role that social prescribing can play in helping people to tackle the root causes of their health problems. Overcoming these causes boosts the wellbeing of the patient, allowing them to improve their quality of life and, crucially, removes the need to constantly visit a GP.”

Ways to Wellness recently published a report explaining its approach to social prescribing in more detail. The full report, along with an executive summary and video clips from patients, link workers and key stakeholders is available on the Ways to Wellness website.