Chief Medical Officer for Wales recommends Time Credits

Time Credits feature in the national health report from Dr Frank Atherton, Chief Medical Officer for Wales

At Spice, we have known for a little while that earning and spending Time Credits makes people feel good about themselves, and their role in the community. (Have a read of our most recent impact stats to find out more!)

Nevertheless, we were proud to see that our Time Credits model has been included in the recently published report from Dr Frank Atherton, Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for Wales. This annual CMO report describes the state of health and healthcare in Wales and makes key recommendations for improvement.

In the report, Rebalancing Healthcare: Working in partnership to reduce social inequity, Time Credits are described as valuing “much more than the standard definition of work and can thus engage people to contribute to community, so improving health and wellbeing and self and community led care.”

The report also highlights how Time Credits can be applied in the context of social prescribing. Social prescribing is a health service innovation and a term used to describe prescriptions of a non-medical nature, such as volunteering, gardening or walking groups, activities which lead to increased social contact and have been shown to boost people’s self-esteem, mood and efficacy.

“The use of Time Credits could strengthen the link between social prescribing in primary care and community engagement and development,” says Dr Atherton in the report. “Prescribed Time Credits could be spent in the setting up of well being services in the primary care environment, helping the shift in focus from illness to wellbeing.”

Spice works across a range of public services in Wales, facilitating our time-based currency Time Credits in the sectors of health & social care, education, housing and homelessness and communities. Last week, the Cardiff team hosted an event at Ice Arena Wales, one of our fantastic spend partners, to share the incredible impact that Time Credits have had in different community settings across the city, as well as the wider south east Wales region.

One Time Credits community member in Cardiff told us:

“I was referred to ACE (Action in Caerau & Ely) for health issues. ACE and Spice Time Credits helped me a lot – I went on a healthy eating and exercise programme at the local leisure centre, and with their support I feel healthier and I’m no longer using my mobility scooter to get around, I can get myself around now by walking with my stick.”

Email to find out more about our work in south east Wales and how your organisation could get involved