The Salford Social Prescribing Hub is actively engaged in developing innovative, evidence-based, inter-professional and cross-sector placements for undergraduate students. This provides scope for students to work creatively to meet their competencies through application of theory to practice and using reflection to analyse and share their perspectives.
As part of the Enabling Effective Learning Environment programme, we have supported the development of partnerships for future student placements with our industry partners in the VCSE sector. We have placed over 30 health care students within these organisations to enhance their knowledge, skills and experience, which has enabled them to build therapeutic relationships, carry out assessments and interventions, gain more insight into safeguarding adults and children and to promote safe practice.
The SP Hub has led on the development of the PerCIE framework, a national framework for Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and Practice Education Facilitators (PEFs) to support student placements in VCSE organisations. We have developed effective ways of supervising and assessing students whilst they are out on placement within the VCSE sector. We have a thorough induction for all parties involved and have produced a handbook with guidance on the process.
See more on this work in the video below:
We have set up a Student Social Prescribing steering group to allow an open forum to discuss inter professional roles and understand the different models and approaches to holistic/person centred care, using a strength and assets-based approach to improve the quality of people’s lives and assist them to make informed choices. This group has identified the need to utilise social media to reach out to a diverse range of students to improve health outcomes.
We are working to embed social prescribing within the undergraduate curriculum across the entire School of Health and Society in the University of Salford. This will be beneficial in raising the profile of how social prescribing, personalised and holistic models of care can be applied to meet the needs of individuals, groups and families.
We have embedded salutogenic principles (i.e. focused on health-promotion rather than illness) into the Undergraduate Nursing curriculum funded by Health Education England to help students understand the wider determinants of public health.
Occupational Therapy at the University of Salford has a long tradition of students undertaking placements in the VCSE sector. These are role emerging placements in organisations that do not employ occupational therapists, where the students establish a potential role for occupational therapy. This area of strength has been built upon by embedding an understanding of social prescribing into the occupational therapy students’ learning e.g., through placement opportunities within the Hub and taught sessions in the programme.
Examples of students’ work with us
Role Emerging Placements in Occupational Therapy
In 2021, the Hub hosted two OT students as part of a 6-week Role Emerging Placement.
The students did some fantastic work that will help develop understanding of the synergies between occupational therapy and social prescribing. The students completed a project on social media expansion, attended SP webinars, formed a group with other OT students on placement in SP settings, completed a simulation-based OT assessment and case formulation considering the alignment and complementary practice of OT/SP, amongst many other things. We have two more OT students joining us on placement soon to continue this great work.