Social Prescribing and the Arts


Summary: This workshop focused on how Social Prescribing and Arts on Prescription fits within wider health and care policy including NHS Wales’ A Healthier Wales: Our Plan for Health and Social Care.

Watch and listen to our most recent workshop HERE

The workshop covered:

  • Examining the evidence base in order to better understand how Arts on Prescription is being used to address specific health and wellbeing needs.
  • Through a series of Case Studies, it looked at how Arts on Prescription works in order to better understand the opportunities and the challenges of setting up a new project.
The role the arts play within Social Prescribing
Arts on Prescription forms part of the Social Prescribing model whereby GPs, nurses and other care workers refer people to a range of community-based, non-clinical services as a way of addressing their health and wellbeing needs in a holistic way. 
Social prescribing schemes often involve a variety of activities - volunteering, community education, gardening, healthy eating, exercise - usually provided by the voluntary sector.
Our Social Prescribing and the Arts training is prefect for those; 
  • Interested in setting up an Arts on Prescription programme and want to know who to partner with and how to get it off the ground
  • Already delivering Arts on Prescription and want to improve and grow your programme
Led by Willis Newson Director Jane Willis. A pioneer of the arts and health field, Jane founded Vital Arts, the arts programme for Bart’s Health NHS Trust, in 1994. Since then, she has worked with more than 32 NHS Trusts and Health Boards, as well as with universities, galleries, museums and health leaders such as The Kings Fund and The Royal Society of Public Health to produce award-winning arts, health and wellbeing programmes.  She is particularly interested in developing creative solutions to strategic health needs and in supporting skills development within the sector.
Jane has evaluated Arts on Prescription programmes across the UK and recently worked with North Bristol NHS Trust to devise and evaluate Fresh Arts on Referral, thought to be the first Arts on Prescription programme in a hospital setting.

For more information about future training dates, or to arrange tailored in-house support, contact Jane Willis, Director, Willis Newson -

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