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Bogdan, 25, studies BMBS Medicine

Exeter Medicine student establishes world-first International Social Prescribing Day

A Medicine student from the University of Exeter Medical School has organised the first ever International Social Prescribing Day.

The worldwide event, held on 14 March 2019, unites universities, community groups, voluntary care sector organisations, healthcare professionals, patients, carers, GP surgeries and hospitals around the world. Medicine student Bogdan Chiva-Giurca, 25, established and co-ordinated the event to raise awareness for social prescribing.

Social prescribing is a healthcare model which links patients in primary care with sources of support in non-clinical communities. The ultimate aim is to direct patients to these services so that they become more confident in managing their own health, and so relieving healthcare services.

The model was recently recognised as being a key aspect in treating and preventing mental health issues, loneliness, and obesity. It featured as an integral aspect of NHS England’s Long Term Plan in 2018.

Bogdan, who is also Chair of the Social Prescribing Student Champion Scheme, said: “In hospital and during placement, we often observe the lack of support available for patients struggling with chronic diseases. The future generation of doctors needs to go beyond pills for their patients. Not replace pills, but complement them with social support.

“They need to focus on prevention, on social determinants of ill-health and personalised care. I believe social prescribing must become part of the essential clinical toolkit for doctors to come.”

Dr Marie Polley, co-founder of The Social Prescribing Network and Senior Lecturer in Health Sciences at the University of Westminster, said: “Raising the awareness of social prescribing for professionals and the public is a crucial next step now that social prescribing has been included as part of the future NHS.

“The Social Prescribing Network and University of Westminster is delighted to be supporting this awareness day, not only in the UK but with our international collaborators.”

Bogdan worked in collaboration with the Social Prescribing Network, College of Medicine, several other stakeholder organisations, and over 5000 medical students.

The event comes after two successful National Social Prescribing Conferences, both of which were also co-ordinated by Bogdan. The 2019 conference saw 90 students from across all 34 UK medical schools in attendance. Two third year students, Toana Nyamapfene and Sophie Spicer, President and Vice-President of the Exeter Leadership and Management Society, received the ‘Best Oral Presentation Award’.

Get involved with #SocialPrescribingDay and follow Bogdona on Twitter, @BogdanBCG.

Date: 14 March 2019

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