I attended a meeting today, which reminded me of being in a foreign language class at school, as I found myself jotting down a number of new previously unheard of phrases.

So like any good student, when I got back to the office I looked these up in the dictionary - now Google of course - to find these terms were not new but have been around for quite sometime!

Furthermore, it was even easier to find lots of related comment on Twitter, so I am now desperately wondering where I have been that I haven't come across "Social Prescribing" before, or perhaps even more worryingly not yet had the good fortune to meet a Social Prescribing Coordinator...

Now by all accounts the latter are gurus in waiting, with the potential to save the NHS lots of money and improve the health and well being of many patients - something that we can all benefit from.  Not least because there is a growing acceptance in the medical community that people who lead happy and active social lives enjoy better health than those who do not.

However, I guess my real amazement comes from the fact that such roles are needed in the first place.  How is it that as a society we seem to have become so disconnected from our neighbours that we no longer know or feel able to ask who might be able to help us, so we need a professional to point us in the right direction and help us find support?

So rather than creating new roles, why are we not looking at the root causes and having a debate about how our common values are in danger of being lost for good? No matter how good a job the professionals might be doing, I would suggest the intimacy and friendship of a community looking out for each other will always achieve more than any economic social programme ever will.