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Vaughan Gething, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Services

First published:
1 October 2018
Last updated:

This was published under the 2016 to 2021 administration of the Welsh Government

I would like to update members on our progress towards the Prosperity for All commitment; reiterated in Our Valleys, Our Future, the Ministerial Taskforce for the Valleys delivery plan; to deliver a social prescribing pilot for mental health. I’m pleased to announce that we have now awarded a total of £1,351,066 of funding to Mind Cymru and the British Red Cross to deliver two projects.

Mind Cymru will co-produce a social prescribing model for referral from frontline healthcare professionals to a link worker, who will provide tailored support plans, and support engagement with community services. Peer navigators with lived experience of mental health problems will offer additional support. They will work with adults who are isolated, lonely and at risk of poor mental health in Taf Ely, South Powys and North Denbighshire.

The British Red Cross will test two different social prescribing models for adult patients who have low to moderate mental health problems and are frequent attenders of GP or ambulance services in Pembrokeshire and Caerphilly. Link co-ordinators will work with the service user to set their own personal goals geared at empowering them to develop alternative non-clinical responses to managing mental distress.

Central to both pilots is robust, independent evaluation to fill gaps in the existing evidence base and inform our future decision making.

We are also finalising plans for a third pilot and I hope to be able to announce the details soon.

The pilots form part of our wider approach, which includes socials prescribing pilots funding through our Innovate to Save fund and a focus on social prescribing though our Research Funding Scheme: Social Care Grant, administered by Health and Care Research Wales.

The pilots will build on existing work across Wales to promote social prescribing, to ensure people have access to care and support which truly recognises them as an individual, and takes account of the full range of factors which could be affecting their mental health and wellbeing.