The Ways to Wellness social prescribing service launched in April 2015, to support people with long term conditions in the west of Newcastle upon Tyne.

Ways to Wellness was the world’s first health service to use Social Impact Bond (SIB) investment, paired with a fully outcomes-based contract. This allowed the service to scale up from the very start, reaching more people and supporting them for a longer period than many social prescribing services.

Since our inception we have received over 7,700 referrals (from an eligible patient population of 14,000), of which over 5,800 have engaged with the service.

"I was right at the bottom. Now I'm in a position to even get a job... I feel confident about it as well."

Shaun Donaldson, Ways to Wellness client

Our outcomes measurement has focused on improved wellbeing for our clients and savings in secondary care (hospital) costs.

Analysis of 2,888 clients who engaged on the service and were subsequently discharged in the first five years of the service showed that 86% improved their wellbeing in at least one domain of wellbeing.

The cumulative costs saved in secondary care have been £4.6 million over five years (£1 million net of service delivery and SIB costs).

“People really feel heard and not directed, so they really open up.”

Katalin Gaspar, Ways to Wellness link worker

‘Ways to Wellness: The First Six Years’ explains our approach in more detail, and what we’ve learned since the service was established. It’s also a celebration of our impact over this time, improving health and wellbeing for thousands of people. To download the report and see our case study videos please click here.