Bangor University (partner)
Led by Judith Stone, WCVA & Carolyn Wallace (USW & PRIME Centre Wales)
Population Health, Social Care
Wales School of Social Care Research
Duration of Project
1 year (1st April 2018 – 31st March 2019)
The Aim of the Project
The aim of the network is to build the critical evidence for social prescribing in Wales. Social prescribing is a way of linking people to community-based, non-medical support.
Its objectives are:
- Develop and agree through consensus the research priorities for social prescribing (SP).
- Promote connections between academics, practitioners (with common topic interests within social prescribing) and other stakeholders to support co-produced research and evaluation grant submissions in accordance with the research priorities.
- Promote and develop a critical dialogue about social prescribing research priorities by building a virtual network connected by email and face to face meetings.
- Explore how best we can evaluate SP.
- Connect local people (academics, practitioners, members of the public) and organisations to promote community engagement and co-production in developing research for social prescribing.
- Build a web based resource and other social media resources to promote the social prescribing research network.
- Link with social prescribing networks outside of Wales to exchange experiences and work together on new research ideas.
An Overview of the Project
The Wales Social Prescribing Research Network (WSPRN) is needed to provide a distinct research direction for social prescribing (SP). SP is being widely implemented with support from public funds whilst there are no clear agreements on definitions and there are questions as to whether it’s worthwhile, effective, value for money.
Individuals and organisations from across Wales have come together to develop a proposal to create a sustainable research network to build the critical evidence for SP in Wales. Its membership will be open to interested individuals and groups and will include members from the third sector, higher education (academics), statutory social care and health organisations (e.g. practitioners, commissioners), members of the public, independent sector and industry members.
The proposal includes a one day consensus event in Cardiff comprising of a Nominal Group Technique (am), World Café Style workshops (pm) and questionnaire for a total of 80 (part invited/ part open)in the first instance to develop the research priorities and action plan. To be followed by 3 x regional half day events in Bangor, Rhyl and Swansea for 25 people each to action the research priorities, build research relationships and grant submissions, further develop the network and populate its research webpage.
The benefits of this proposal include the development of an inclusive research programme with individuals, public and third sectors working with the Health and Care Research Wales infrastructure. This will result in the development of a glossary of research terms, good quality research applications and better opportunities for authorship. It will promote research capacity building through increasing the profile of SP research in Wales, providing a supportive environment to develop researcher confidence. The research network will have an impact on the existing and developing SP services through enhanced communication, building evidence on individual and community outcomes, social capital and value for money.