The social and economic impact of the Rotherham Social Prescribing Pilot

Author(s):*Listed Alphabetically
Bashir N, Dayson C

Year of Publication:

Sheffield Hallam University

Publication Type:


This evaluation provides an assessment of the social and economic impact of the innovative  Rotherham Social Prescribing Pilot carried out between 2012 and 2014. The report covers the social prescribing policy context; social prescribing activities and outputs;the impact on demand for hospital care; social impact and economic and social cost benefits; and includes five case studies where the arts have been implemented.

The Pilot was delivered by Voluntary Action Rotherham (VAR) in partnership with more than 20 local voluntary and community organisations (VCOs). It was commissioned by NHS Rotherham and funded from April 2012 to March 2014 as part of a wider GP-led Integrated Case Management Pilot with the aim of increasing the capacity of GP practices to meet the non-clinical needs of their patients with long-term conditions, including support for their carers.

The analysis identified a clear overall trend that points to reductions in patients’ use of hospital resources after they had been referred to Social Prescribing. Patients who were referred to the Social Prescribing Pilot experienced improvements in their wellbeing and made progress towards better self-management of their condition. The findings also demonstrated positive economic benefits to commissioners, the estimated total NHS cost reductions by the end of the pilot of £552,000: a return on investment of 50pence for each pound invested.

Evidence Type: Non-Randomised Evaluation

Main Focus: Wellbeing / Quality of life

Research Purpose: Outcome Evaluation

Context: Primary Care

Participant Group: Adults

Art Forms: Multi-Arts

Access Type: Free Download

APA Citation:

Dayson, C. & Bashir, N. (2014). The social and economic impact of the Rotherham Social Prescribing Pilot. Sheffield: Sheffield Hallam University.