Number 65 in our countdown of '70 Ways Art Improves Our Health' highlights just one of the ways art can save NHS money...

One in five patients visit a GP for a problem that needs a social solution, not a medical solution. These problems include loneliness, confidence issues, housing worries and debt. These visits cost the equivalent of 3,750 doctors’ salaries every year.

Social prescribing, including arts-on-prescription, aims to treat the wider causes of ill health by offering solutions that go beyond the medical.

A Paintings in Hospitals printmaking workshop at Southmead Hospital, Bristol

When we visit a GP, we are used to them handing us a prescription for medication. Arts-on-prescription work in a similar way but instead of referring us to a pharmacy, they refer us to arts providers. These arts providers often already exist in the community, such as local galleries, museums, libraries, and charities like us.

According to the Creative Health report from the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing, one arts-on-prescription project has shown a 37% decrease in GP visits and a 27% reduction in hospital admissions. That is a saving of £216 per patient.

You can watch the brilliant Dr Daisy Fancourt explain a little more about arts-on-prescription via BBC Ideas here.

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