The role of social prescribers in wales: a consensus methods study

T. Roberts*, C. Lloydwin, D. Pontin, M. Williams, C. Wallace

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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Aims: Social prescribing continues to grow and change across healthcare services in Wales; however, research of the day-to-day performance of social prescribers is limited. This study aimed to explore which roles are perceived to be the most important and frequently used by social prescribers in Wales and compare these results to reports in studies of services in other countries in order to support future role development and potential standardisation. Methods: This study used the Group Concept Mapping via the Concept Systems Global Max™ software to collect and analyse all data from both participants and literature. Results: There was a total of 101 statements generated (119 participants, 84 literature) ranging from generic interpersonal skills to specialised training (cognitive behavioural therapy). These statements were then sorted by conceptual similarity into seven clusters (Providing a Specialist Service, Working in a person-centred way, Skills, Connecting Clients with Community, Collaborative Working, Evaluating and postprogramme duties, and Networking/Community). Statements were rated based on their perceived importance and frequency, with the ‘Skills’ cluster having the highest overall average and ‘Providing a Specialist Service’ having the lowest. Conclusions: Reports indicate that in general there is variation in the roles performed by individual participants in Wales; however, greater variation was observed between participants and literature suggesting geographical divergence in practice. In the top 12 highest rated statements for both frequency and importance, individualistic traits such as empathy and ‘being a listener’ are favoured over specialised methods such as cognitive behavioural therapy and behaviour change taxonomy. Results suggest that local need plays a part in the choices and performance of social prescribers and as such should be considered in future standardisation.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
JournalPerspectives in Public Health
Issue number00
Early online date15 Apr 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Apr 2021


  • group concept mapping
  • primary care
  • public health
  • social prescribing
  • third sector


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