We talk to Dr. Marie Polley about Social Prescribing, what it is and how it can help us manage our health and wellbeing. To listen log into Self Care School.
Dr. Marie Polley is a freelance research consultant, past Chair of the British Society for Integrative Oncology and Co-Founder and Co-Chair of the Social Prescribing Network. Marie trained as a biomedical scientist and has a PhD in molecular carcinogenesis of the lung. Marie also trained in Usui Reiki whilst completing her Ph.D. and practiced as an Usui Reiki Master for many years.
For the past 14 years, Marie has researched and taught about approaches to integrating different paradigms of health and wellbeing, in her role as Senior Lecturer in Health Sciences and Research at the University of Westminster. Here Marie taught students biochemistry, physiology, pathology, research methods, supervised undergraduate dissertations as well as running a research group in patient reported outcomes measures.
Whilst at Breast Cancer Haven (2003-2006) and then at the University of Westminster (2006-2020), Marie collaborated with Dr Helen Seers and Dr Charlotte Paterson on validating Measure Yourself Concerns and Wellbeing (MYCaW) and developing the use of MYCaW in new cohorts.
More recently Marie co-founded the Social Prescribing Network, which has led a social movement around the use of non-medical activities to support people’s wider determinants of health and provide additional routes of support to traditional pharmaceutical prescribing. Social Prescribing has now been adopted by the NHS in England and is being taken up internationally.
Marie led the team to write the first national guidance for social prescribing, the first economic overview of social prescribing on health service usage and recently mapped all outcomes associated with social prescribing to support discussion on inclusive ways of researching and evaluating this growing field. Marie provides advice to senior leaders, Members of Parliament and the House of Lords, key stakeholders, researchers and organisations in this field.
Marie is a voluntary youth worker for her local church, loves getting out in nature and when near the sea will willingly jump on a surfboard and (attempt to) catch some waves.--