The Brighton and Hove Social Prescribing Providers Network has collated information from members about gaps in services, across the city, which are causing health inequalities and inequity of access to produce an important Position Statement. The aim of this position statement is to inform strategic service development and commissioning practice whilst highlighting how the voluntary and community sector can be collaborative partners in creating solutions.
The B&H Social Prescribing Providers Network, formed in 2017, has a membership of over 20 statutory and voluntary sector organisations. The purpose of the network is to provide mutual support for organisations offering social prescribing in Brighton and Hove. The network meets quarterly to explore issues and find solutions; identifying and promoting best practice in social prescribing, collaborating and sharing resources, news, information and training opportunities.
Network meetings over the course of 2019-2020 shared and discussed information about gaps in services that social prescribing practitioners were finding in the course of their work. The network recognises COVID has interrupted the flow of some services but this statement draws from experience over the past 5+ years; discussions with partners and clients, and from the day-to-day experience of helping clients find resources that fit their individual needs. Unfortunately, some gaps in services have arisen repeatedly over many years.
There are three overarching issues; delays and demand, equalities, and thresholds across 10 key areas of service delivery including Mental Health, Housing Support, Adult Social Care and Money and Benefits Advice.
The Position Statement also reflects on the recently published report ‘Covid-19 Sussex wide VCSE review’ (September 2020) which explores
how commissioners and funders can work collaboratively to ensure that funding flexes to create the change we need and ensure that people in Brighton and Hove do not fall through the gaps. Voluntary sector agencies also would participate in working together, designing and submitting joint funding bids that address these gaps.