Doctors will be encouraged to refer patients to art groups, cookery classes and other activities
GPs in England will be able to refer people to take part in social activities such as cookery classes, walking clubs and art groups to combat loneliness, the prime minister has said.
Instead of offering medication, doctors will be encouraged to use “social prescribing” to refer lonely patients to activities that could help tackle feelings of isolation.
Launching the first government loneliness strategy, Theresa May said social prescriptions would reduce demand on the NHS and improve patients’ quality of life. She plans for the new approach to be in place by 2023. In addition, the prime minister announced an extra £1.8m for community projects, such as creating new community cafes, art spaces or gardens.