This new resource looks at how Allied Health Professionals can be involved with social prescribing, not just AHPs who work in the NHS but also those in private practice. The framework sets out four ways AHPs can engage with social prescribing, from active signposting, to involvement in the development of social prescribing and gives examples of how different AHPs might do this.

Social prescribing improves outcomes for people by giving more choice and control over their lives. It is effective at targeting the causes of health inequalities and is particularly useful for people who need more support with their mental health, have one or more long-term conditions, are lonely or isolated, and/or have complex social needs that affect their wellbeing.

The framework includes a range of AHPs, including those who are ARMA members such as physiotherapists, dieticians, osteopaths, and occupational therapists. It explains why AHPs should be interested in social prescribing and how to approach the different roles they might play:

  • Active signposting
  • Refer to a link worker
  • AHP as prescriber
  • AHPs promoting, growing and developing social prescribing


The framework is accompanied by a policy report giving recommendations for AHPs and for system leaders to ensure the maximum benefit from what AHPs have to offer.

All AHPs:

  • To continue to embed holistic care into their roles and to use social prescribing as part of this.
  • To connect with their local link workers to build a picture of social prescribing opportunities applicable for their users.
  • To champion social prescribing and share good practice examples.


AHP leaders and managers:

  • To connect with their local system to articulate how AHPs can support social prescribing, whether that is through provision of services, pathways development, training, supervision or advice.
  • To champion social prescribing as part of effective service delivery.


System leaders:

  • To draw on the skills and expertise of AHPs as they develop pathways, support and quality assurance frameworks around social prescribing.
  • To explore opportunities to develop directories of services, through applications such as MECC to support active signposting by a range of professionals.


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