Social prescribing to be offered in nationwide trial

7th September 2022

social prescribing and exercise

Social prescribing to be offered in nationwide trial

Social prescriptions, including walking and cycling, are to be offered by GPs as part of a new nationwide trial aiming to improve physical and mental health within England.

The social prescribing trial, beginning this year, will take place across 11 local authority areas and will see £12.7 million in multi-year funding go towards pilot projects such as adult cycle training, free bike loans and walking groups.

Aims of social prescribing trial

The trial will be delivered between 2022 and 2025 and will include ongoing monitoring with the aim of evaluating the impact exercise can have on an individual’s health, numbers of general practice consultations s and reliance on medication.

Dr Linda Edwards, Chief Executive of Education for Health, commented

“I was delighted to hear this announcement as the work that Dr Hart and others have been doing in Sheffield and other areas have shown the impact exercise can have on physical and mental health. Once people become actively engaged in their own health and wellbeing it has positive spin offs throughout their lives.

Education content

“Our courses are designed to look beyond medication when considering long term conditions and their management. Our tutors, and clinical experts who create our course content, ensure that participants have knowledge of a range of treatment pathways; lifestyle management is a key part of this holistic approach.”

Sheffield Move More

Dr Ollie Hart, GP and Lead of Person Centred-Care within NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group is also pleased to hear of the social prescribing trial. Dr Hart is the Chair of the ‘Sheffield Move More’ Board and in recent years has been largely involved in creating systems that make it easier for people to be physically active. He said, “having seen so many staff and patients benefit from us deliberately highlighting and promoting opportunities to get active, I really support this direction. It helps to get imaginative about how we discover and support what works for different people in different contexts. But it is really worth it, as in our experience, more active people enjoy happier lives, in more vibrant communities.”

Further resources

Education for Health offers higher education courses accredited by the University of Hertfordshire, alongside CPD accredited bite sized training. Our course portfolio can be viewed online.

Visit to find out more about the Government’s social prescribing trials.