If you read the Christmas BMJ in the last few weeks, you might have noticed a lot around art and health - the way in which engagement in arts can help in prevention and treatment, but can also affect those more nebulous things which really matter to patients - loneliness, self expression, being connected to the wider community.
That obviously links to social prescribing, which looks like it’s going to be one of the big changes to medicine which will happen in near future.
In this podcast we hear from Simon Opher, a GP in gloucestershire who has had artists and poets in residence in his surgery, and has experience of setting up services which link art and health - and we discuss how to do that practically. SImon makes it sound easy, but also has a few tips for GPs out there who have an idea about a non-medical service that could help their patients, but doesn’t yet exist.
We’ll also be talking to Helen Stokes Lampard, former chair of the Royal College of Surgeons and head of the new National Academy for Social Prescribing - as services bloom, how do we know what actually works?
Helen is sceptical that our current ways of evaluating an intervention are going to be inadequate to look at the much more messy world of social prescribing, with it’s localisation, multitude of influences, and difficult to measure outcomes.
Previous BMJ podcast on social prescribing
Clinical update on social prescribing