Social Prescribing

Social Prescribing




Social prescribing aims to improve an individual’s wellbeing by recognising
that their overall health can be negatively affected by a range of non-medical
factors, such as social isolation & loneliness, financial concerns, housing issues,
lack of support in preparing to re-enter the working environment, and understanding
eligibility for and accessing welfare benefits. Support for many of these challenges
is often available from local Voluntary, Community, Faith, or Social Enterprise (VCFSE) groups,
although many are unaware of how to access these groups.

Connect for Health

Emily, David, Alison, Paige, Jan

Our advice service is completely free, and we can help you with a wide range of issues, including:

  • Employment / Self-employment
  • Consumer issues
  • Family and relationships (including divorce or separation)
  • Housing
  • Money and Debt
  • Utilities (energy and water)
  • Benefits
  • Immigration
  • Social isolation

Whether you access the Connect for Health service directly or are referred to us by a health/social care provider or a local public/voluntary sector organisation, you will be assigned to a trained Connect for Health Adviser who can help you by:

  • Contacting you to arrange an initial appointment in which you will have dedicated time to talk to them on a confidential basis.
  • Working with you to identify the problems you’re facing and establish what is important and matters most to you.
  • Supporting and guiding you to develop a personalised plan to find the solutions that are right for you.
  • Arranging follow-up appointments as and when they are required to discuss progress and identify where additional support and guidance may be required.

The solutions that are identified may range from helping you to access a variety of national, local, or community services; writing letters; assisting with phone calls; connecting you to specialist help; or introducing you to community groups, clubs, or projects that are of interest to you.


Please note that Connect for Health can only take referrals for patients registered with a GP in Ipswich.

If you’d like social prescribing support, you can ask your GP surgery to refer you to us.

Professionals: If you’d like to refer someone to us, please contact us using the details below.

How to contact us:

By telephone:

Connect for Health Team: 01473 298 637

Our lines are open between 9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Outside of these times a voicemail facility is available, and we aim to respond to messages within 3 working days.

By email:

Our email address is



Justin, Russell & Jasmine

The NHS Long Term Plan (LTP, 2019) sets out how transforming community services to boost out-of-hospital care should be achieved:

  • Promote a multidisciplinary team approach where doctors, nurses and other allied health professionals work together in an integrated way to provide tailored support that helps people live well and independently at home for longer
  • Give people more say about the care and support they receive, particularly towards the end of their lives
  • Offer more support for people who look after family members, partners or friends because of their illness, frailty or disability
  • Develop more rapid community response teams, to support older people with health issues before they need hospital treatment and help those leaving hospital to return and recover at home
  • Offer more NHS support in care homes including building on strong links between care homes, local general practices and community services

In Ipswich and east Suffolk locally, we have a 2 hour Urgent Community Response (UCR) team known as REACT – Reactive Emergency Assessment Community Team. REACT is a multi-agency team (health, social care and VCS) to reduce avoidable Emergency Department (ED) attendances /admissions by providing short term support for adults (18 years +) in crisis situations. Urgent assessment can be arranged within 2 hours and REACT can access an Interface Geriatrician via the Frailty Assessment Base (FAB) and step up to community beds as needed. It provides a short-term primary, secondary and community care approach for patients with nursing needs, to be treated in their own home and to prevent an acute admission. REACT comprises nurses, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, health care assistants, generic workers, British Red Cross, Citizens Advice Ipswich Social Prescribers and Suffolk Family Carers support workers.


Long Covid Social Prescribing


The scope of this project is the Suffolk and North East Essex Long COVID Service Social Prescribing element of the rehabilitation pathway. The aim of this service is to address the social support needs of the Long COVID population via the SNELCAS service utilising existing social prescribing pathways in addition to identifying a dedicated link worker between the parties.

The main objectives of the provider include, but are not limited to:

  1. Improve the social health and wellbeing of patients recovering from Long COVID
  2. Ensure processes are in place to create a sustainable social prescribing pathway to support the wellbeing of patients and facilitate recovery from Long COVID.
  3. Working closely with commissioners and the SNELCAS service to make responsive changes to the pathway to suit the needs of this complex population
  4. Being the main point of contact for social prescribing in Ipswich, liaising with the SNELCAS MDT either remotely or onsite – to perform training, resolve issues and generally support the service in making suitable referrals and achieve the goals of the rehabilitation pathway
  5. Performing timely screening of referrals and aiming for a 4 week wait for initial assessments of patients.
  6. Managing the reporting of relevant outcomes to patient GP’s and the SNELCAS service in a timely manner on discharge from your service.