NHS Property Services - ‘Social prescribing spaces: measuring impact’: Interim Report

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned Report


NHS Property Services (NHSPS) is a government-owned company that was established in 2013. NHSPS helps the NHS make the right property choices to ensure that it gets the most from its estate (NHS Property Services, 2020). To support the NHS, NHSPS locate vacant spaces, with no other immediate use, turning them into social prescribing hubs. In 2019/2020, NHSPS developed six social prescribing sites for communities and patient groups; and enabled 378,000 hours of patient care via NHS Open Space (NHS Property Services, 2021). NHSPS created 21 social prescribing hubs in their properties in 2020/21(NHS Property Services, 2020). Social prescribing is an effective approach to reduce primary care demand; however, it is often limited due to the unavailability of indoor and outdoor spaces for community groups and charities to deliver their services (NHS Property Services, 2020a).
The aim of our research is to examine the impact that these hubs have on the organisations that use them and the people they support. The primary objectives, set by NHSPS, are:
I. Demonstrating the impact that the creation of these social prescribing hubs has on organisations that use the space and the service users they support;
ii. Establishing NHSPS’ role in this, and the proportion of impact that can be attributed to it; and
iii. Informing the future of NHSPS’ social prescribing programme.
To address these objectives, researchers from the Institute for Social Innovation and Impact (ISII) at the University of Northampton have conducted an extensive literature review that has led to the development of a Theory of Change (ToC). This interim report presents a brief overview of the literature on social prescribing and ToC.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021


  • NHS Property Services
  • Social Prescribing


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