Prescription: Community - Social Prescribing in CHCs

Update - visit the Rx Community: Social Prescribing webpage for more information

Social prescribing is a new spin on an old idea - that people are healthier when they are connected with social resources and supports in their communities.

In the United Kingdom, social prescribing has taken off by providing a structured way to address the determinants of health and wellbeing for people accessing primary care. Social prescribing looks different in different communities, but often involves a social prescription from a primary care clinician (instead of, or as a complement to, a medical or pharmaceutical prescription), a supportive navigator who can connect and be with the client throughout, and a suite of health promotion and community development supports drawn from the assets of both the centre and the community.

The results are promising: more efficient use of clinicians’ time, better support for socially isolated people and those facing complex determinants of health, and a sense of community that acts as the “glue” linking the diverse components of comprehensive primary health care.

Rx: Community is an 18-month pilot project linking UK experts in social prescribing (from Health Education England, Altogether Better, the National Health Service and the Social Prescribing Network) with 10 Community Health Centres Across Ontario. They are: Belleville & Quinte West CHC, CSC Témiskaming, South Georgian Bay CHC, NorWest CHC, Hamilton Urban Core CHC, Rexdale CHC, Guelph CHC, Stonegate CHC, Centretown CHC, and Country Roads CHC.

The project aims to bring sustainable service innovation to the front lines of primary health care through directed mentorship, evidence-informed implementation, local adaptation and partnership, and built-in evaluation. The work is powered by the Community Development Stream of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s new Health and Wellbeing Grant.

For more information please contact Kate Mulligan at