Embedding Social Prescribing into the UK Undergraduate Medical Curriculum

Sung, Charis and Hodgson, Jessica (2021) Embedding Social Prescribing into the UK Undergraduate Medical Curriculum. In: Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE) Annual Conference.

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Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Poster)
Item Status:Live Archive


Social prescribing (SP) is now a key aspect of 21st century healthcare delivery and NHS Long term plan, yet it is missing from the core undergraduate curriculum in UK medical schools. We explored how to introduce this new content to ensure early years students understand what social prescribing is, how it works and why it is beneficial.

Summary of Work
In devising the curriculum delivery format for a new UK medical school, sessions on SP were embedded at each early years academic stage as a pilot project to raise awareness of the topic. Content was devised in partnership with the student SP champion, academic staff and partner stakeholders from the voluntary sector, making use of the skills and resources available locally. A focus was given to incremental learning that was stage appropriate: first year content focussing on introducing SP, second year content discussing patient experiences and third year focus on interactive simulated MDT based on SP.

Summary of Results
Results from the first two years of this pilot project show that the programme delivery has been well received by the cohort, with survey data showing that students have increased awareness (60%), interest in the subject (100%), and 63% were more likely to identify opportunities for SP on placement.

Discussion and Conclusions
We found that taking an integrated, structured approach which builds on the content and delivery year on year, first established a core knowledge base and secondly led to increased engagement from students in the topic.
Having implemented SP into the curriculum, it will now be retained in the core timetable. Flexibility afforded by the timetabling of activities in a new medical school allowed these activities to be included as part of core learning time. This improved engagement during the sessions and subsequently improved follow up enquiries towards the SP lead and academic staff. The pilot has also led to the creation of a novel link worker 'shadowing' scheme for medical students as part of an optional module, is association with regional SP stakeholders.

Take Home Messages
Embedding SP into the early years curriculum in a structured, interactive manner is feasible and is an important addition to 21st century medical education.

Keywords:Social Prescribing, medical student, curriculum
Subjects:A Medicine and Dentistry > A100 Pre-clinical Medicine
L Social studies > L410 UK Social Policy
Divisions:College of Science > Lincoln Medical School
ID Code:45862
Deposited On:25 Aug 2021 12:55

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