The Healthcare Financial Management Association’s northern conference will today hear about the history of Ways to Wellness, the importance of social prescribing, and what we have achieved.

The presentation will be delivered by Joe Corrigan, Chief Finance and Operating Officer at Newcastle Gateshead CCG, and Dr Guy Pilkington, a GP in the west end of Newcastle who has been involved with Ways to Wellness since its inception.

Joe Corrigan said: “When we set up Ways to Wellness in 2015 it was – even then - ahead of its time. ….You can probably point to many successes but from a patient’s perspective undoubtedly it has to be the improvement in wellbeing.”

Ways to Wellness Chief Executive, Sandra Mitchell-Phillips, said: “We are delighted to have been invited to present at the HFMA conference. As the first healthcare project in the world to be part-funded by a social impact bond, we are delighted to share what we have learned – and in particular the impact we’ve had on patient wellbeing and reduced secondary care costs - with financial managers across the NHS.”

Out of nearly 3,000 clients who have engaged with the service and have subsequently been discharged, 86% show improvement in well-being.

Analysis has shown the secondary care cost per patient for the Ways to Wellness cohort was 27% lower than the comparison cohort. In one year alone this equated to a saving of £1.56 million as well as freeing up GP time to deal with other patients.

The conference will be attended by NHS finance professionals from across the North of England.