Social Prescribing


Social Prescribing – linking people up with activities or services in the community that they might benefit from. It’s about connecting people to non-medical sources of support.

Reading Voluntary Action and Age UK Berkshire jointly deliver  our Social Prescribing service across Reading.

We can accept referrals for patients who are registered with GP practices in the North and West Reading and South Reading CCG areas, including practices in Mortimer, Pangbourne and Theale.  Referrals can be made by doctors and practice staff. We are also accepting referrals from the team of Occupational Therapists and Physiotherapists at the Royal Berkshire Hospital, and Talking Therapies for patients registered with Reading practices.

We aim to help people live well and safely, and to maintain healthy lives, through non-medical support offered by Reading’s voluntary and community groups.  This in turn supports reduction in their use of GP surgeries, calls to 111 and 999, visits to A&E and avoidable emergency hospital admissions.

GPs and other healthcare professionals can refer patients to the service who meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Living with long term health conditions
  • Lack of social contact
  • Poor physical health
  • Low confidence levels
  • Needing practical support e.g. form filling, to attend outpatient appointments
  • Needing benefits/financial advice and information
  • Relying on avoidable GP appointments

Information for patients

How can social prescribing help me?

By linking you to local community services and activities for

  • More social contact and emotional support
  • Advice and information to access benefits and address financial worries
  • Support to continue or take up activities and interests
  • Support to improve general health through physical activity and healthy eating

What happens next?

Once your GP has made a referral, we will contact you to arrange an appointment.  This might be at your doctor’s surgery or, if you find it difficult to get out, we can arrange a home visit

At your first appointment, the Social Prescriber will encourage you to think about any changes that will improve your health and wellbeing and the support you need to make the changes. Working together, we will agree your priorities and next steps to find the support that you need.

We use a simple Outcomes Star to help you identify areas in your life where local activities and support could help you to feel better, more confident or more able to manage a health condition.

wellbeing star


How do I get a referral?

Your GP may recognise that you would benefit from our Social Prescribing service and will talk to you before making a referral

If you want to find out more, please do call the Social Prescribing team direct on 0118 9372273 or email

Ongoing support

We will keep in contact with you every couple of weeks to see how you’re doing and after 3 – 4 months we will arrange to see you again to talk about how you are getting on. We can revisit the Well-being Star to see how things have changed for you.

Tel: 0118 937 2273 (ask for the Social Prescribing service)


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