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By Andy Malt | Published on Wednesday 7 November 2018
UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock has been briefed by the Secretary of State for his secretary, arguing that the NHS should not be long-term illnesses.
Speaking at an event for health-focused think tank the King's Fund, Hancock argued that over-the-counter prescribing of millions of pounds. Instead of medication, he said, providing people with access to cultural activities, such as watching live music, learning instruments themselves, or dance classes, could be just as effective.
According to the BBC, these are "indispensible tool" for doctors, adding: "Social prescription reduces over-prescription of drugs. It may lead to the same or better outcomes for patients without popping pills. And it saves the NHS money. Because many of these social cures are free. We've been fostering a culture that's popping pills and Prozac, when we should be doing more prevention and perspiration. "
One of the long-term conditions that would benefit from this alternative style of treatment is dementia, he said. He suggested that patients could be prescribed personalized music playlists.
There is evidence that it may be very effective in managing dementia, due to sound's close connection to memory. And what about that in the mind that the BBC has recently launched a website designed to help people in their lives.
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The Charity's Director of Policy, Sally Copley argued, "What we really need to see in addition to social prescriptions is GPs giving people with dementia access to the right support and medication when needed and, crucially, the government ".
Chief exec of mental health charity so also said, while prevention through getting people active is welcome, that approach requires proper investment and support, and should be seen as working alongside, rather than in place, other treatments.
Mind's Paul Farmer said "Local services have become subject to substantial cuts over the past decade". "This prevention strategy must be matched with long-term investment, if we want to make it a reality and make a real difference to people's everyday lives. We want self-care techniques to be complementary to, rather than as a substitute for, mental health services, such as counseling or cognitive behavioral therapy ".
Of course, if the UK actually leaves the European Union without some kind of deal in place, causing delays at the border which could stop some key drugs from getting into the country in a timely manner the only option. Hancock pledged £ 4.5 million of funding to 23 social prescribing projects in England this July.