Spring, Northamptonshire’s new countywide social prescribing service, is now open to referrals as of the beginning of July 2021.

Spring is a community-driven support network designed to help people in Northamptonshire to manage their health and wellbeing. The programme is supported by the NHS and Public Health Northamptonshire, as well as central government through the Life Chances Fund.

Preparations for launch of Spring resumed earlier this year after a pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The service is being co-ordinated locally by four delivery partners, who each have responsibility for planning, organising and delivering the programme across the county. These delivery partners are:

  • Age UK Northamptonshire – Daventry and South Northamptonshire; Kettering and Corby
  • General Practice Alliance – Northampton
  • Northamptonshire Carers – Wellingborough
  • Mayday Trust – East Northamptonshire

The Spring delivery partners have all been working hard over recent months to get the service ready. The delivery team has now been recruited and is currently getting all the last details ready for the first day of delivery.

Social prescribing is a way of helping people to manage their own mental and physical health by referring them to local community-run services like leisure activities, social groups and healthy lifestyle advice.

The social prescribing model is already beginning to develop in Northamptonshire with social prescribing link workers employed at our county’s GP practices to connect people with local services to meet their individual needs.

Spring will complement the current model by taking referrals from any source (including self-referrals, referrals from social services, hospital discharge units, voluntary, community and social enterprise sector organisations and many more), as well as providing additional support to the social prescribing link workers already in place at the GP practices. Spring will also work with local voluntary and community organisations to provide communities of support based on the interest of those using the service.

While social prescribing has been widely adopted across the UK, this integrated county-wide social prescribing model is unique to Northamptonshire and it will support people in Northamptonshire to choose well, stay well and live well.