Social prescribing of arts and culture should become an ‘indispensable tool’ for doctors, says Matt Hancock

Social prescribing of arts and culture should become an ‘indispensable tool’ for doctors to help aid patients’ recovery, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, is expected to say.

In his speech at the at the King’s Fund on Tuesday 6 November 2018 at 12pm, the Health Secretary will outline the ways he believes person-centred social prescribing can tackle ageing, loneliness, mental health, and other long-term conditions. 

Sally Copley, Director of Policy, Campaigns and Partnerships at Alzheimer’s Society, said

'There is no denying that social interaction, music and the arts have a key role to play in helping the 850,000 people with dementia across the UK to feel empowered and able to continue to doing the things they enjoy. We know from activities like Alzheimer’s Society’s Singing for the Brain groups just how valuable the arts are in helping to combat the isolation and loneliness felt by many people with dementia. 

'It is certainly a positive step to be focussing on the wider picture of person-centred care but we cannot see music and the arts alone as some kind of silver bullet for people with dementia.

'What we really need to see in addition to social prescribing is GPs giving people with dementia access to the right support and medication when needed and, crucially, the government ensuring adequate funding for care is addressed in the upcoming green paper.'

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