The impact of social prescribing on general practice use

The ESRI organises a public seminar series, inviting researchers from both the ESRI and other institutions to present new research on a variety of public policy issues. The seminar series provides access to specialised knowledge and new research methodologies, with the objective of promoting research excellence and facilitating productive dialogue across the policy and research fields.

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Guest speaker: Dr Darach Ó CiardhaGP, Tallaght Cross, and Adjunct Assistant Professor in Public Health & Primary Care, Trinity College Dublin

Seminar topicSocial prescribing is experiencing increasing interest amongst community organisations, healthcare professionals, the Health Service Executive and many other potential stakeholders. Social prescribing can be defined as the connection of patients to non-medical sources of support within their own community to improve physical and mental well-being.  While being a relatively recent development in the Irish setting, social prescribing has been in evolution in the UK for almost decades and has been identified as a strategic priority by the NHS. Social prescribing offers the possibility of leveraging Social Capital to improve health and well-being. Though social Prescribing is not new, very few robust studies have been conducted into its efficacy and this represents a challenge for stakeholders and researchers and practitioners. We will discuss the experience of our GP Practice, GPs at Tallaght Cross, where we have been implementing social prescribing since 2016.  We have identified a 25% reduction in attendance amongst patients who have availed of Social prescribing over a 2-year period.  We will describe the process as we have developed it within our practice and discuss the insights we have gained.

Speaker bio: Dr Darach Ó Ciardha is a GP at Tallaght Cross and Adjunct Assistant Professor in Public Health & Primary Care at Trinity College Dublin. He is the Assistant Programme Director on the Trinity College HSE GP Training Programme and a board member of Tallaght University Hospital. He helped found in 2010, which is an online resource for GPs and other healthcare professionals to find the medical professionals and services they require.