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Table 1 Details of the study setting

From: Social prescribing for people with complex needs: a realist evaluation

Organisation Type: Community Anchor Organisation (Voluntary sector)

Location: Inner-city area of high socioeconomic deprivation in a city in the north of England

Referral type: General Practitioners and other services refer direct to the organisation. Self-referral is also possible. Triage worker signposts to the most appropriate service, based on the client’s personal goals rather than the doctor’s determination of the problem. In 2018, there was a total of 1372 referrals; 813 from General Practitioners, 207 self-referrals, 315 from other sources (e.g. housing, community mental health teams) and 37 whose referral status was not recorded. The number of clients with a mental health condition is not recorded; however, in 2018, 56 clients enrolled on the coping and self-management programme and 59 enrolled on the emotional well-being programme

Services provided: Advice and services around health, employment and training. For the purposes of this study, we only considered the health section: this includes health training (e.g. weight loss or health eating advice, alcohol or cigarette reduction and exercise advice), social café’s, benefits and housing advice, and volunteer work. There is no set pathway through the service. Clients can access different services at different times in whatever order meets their needs. The service has no time limit

Staff team: Paid health trainers, health activity workers and advocacy workers (primarily giving benefits and housing advice) and unpaid volunteers. Any of the paid workers could be a link worker, this would be decided based on client goals. Clients with predominantly health goals would have a health trainer as a link worker. Once these goals were met, the client may be referred to other colleagues if needed, for example for benefits advice. The person acting as link worker would change

Care pathway: New clients are screened by the in-house triage service to ensure the client is seen by the right part of the service to meet their goals. It is possible to move from one service to another or see multiple workers at one time depending on the nature of the client’s personal goals. The service also includes social café’s, which can take referrals or clients can drop in. You can attend the social café concurrently with other one to one services