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Using consensus methods to develop a Social Prescribing Learning Needs Framework for practitioners in Wales.

  • Wallace, C1
  • Elliott, M2
  • Thomas, S3
  • Davies-McIntosh, E4
  • Beese, S2
  • Roberts, G5
  • Ruddle, N6
  • Groves, K7
  • Rees, S8
  • Pontin, D2
  • 1 University of South Wales, Glyntaff Campus, Aneurin Bevan Building, Glyntaf, Pontypridd CF37 4BD, UK.
  • 2 University of South Wales, Pontypridd, UK.
  • 3 Public Health Wales, Merthyr Tydfil, UK.
  • 4 Public Health Wales, Newport, UK.
  • 5 Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, Bangor, UK.
  • 6 Wrexham Glyndwr University, Wrexham, UK.
  • 7 Health Education and Improvement Wales, NHS Wales, Cardiff, UK.
  • 8 Wales Council for Voluntary Action, Cardiff, UK.
Published Article
Perspectives in public health
Publication Date
May 01, 2021
DOI: 10.1177/1757913919897946
PMID: 31989867


Social prescribing is being widely implemented in Wales, but there is no consensus on the necessary learning, training and education needs for people delivering social prescribing. The purpose of the study was to develop an education and training needs conceptual framework for social prescribers in Wales, which could be used by commissioners and providers for the development of social prescribing curricula. This study used two consensus methods. First, Group Concept Mapping using Concept Systems Global MaxTM software which identified the important and available learning needs of 18 (n = 18) geographically spread social prescribing practitioners. Second, a world café style workshop asked 85 (n = 85) social prescribers to identify when training and support would be most appropriate and valuable in developing their role and skills. A Social Prescribing Learning Needs Framework was developed identifying important learning needs and their availability across a timeline from induction onwards. This was conceptualised from a group concept mapping cluster map and go-zone report. The map comprises five clusters of statements (compassion, interpersonal relationships, socioeconomic disadvantage, networking and monitoring data) from the original 120 statements of learning needs identified by participants. The Go-Zone report displayed how each learning need was rated by participants on scales of importance and availability. A large number of training needs (45%) that were identified as important, are not currently available to social prescribers. All training needs were placed within the first year of the social prescriber working timeline, with 39% placed in an induction period. The use of two different consensus methods enabled social prescribers geographically spread across Wales to engage with the study. The Social Prescribing Learning Needs Framework will be used to inform the commissioning and decommissioning of training for people delivering social prescribing in Wales.

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