Health bosses in north-west London said they are happy to wait on delivering a social prescribing plan to ensure it is “done properly”.

Social prescribing, which aims to improve patients’ mental health through structured activities, is seen as a key part of the health service’s future in the UK.

Last year, the collaborative group of clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in north-west London said it would encourage GPs in the region to adopt the practice.

But in January, Harrow Council’s health and wellbeing board explained that an in-house prototype had been put on hold.

The details of the programme continue to be delayed, but members of the board said they were unconcerned due to its scale and importance.

Paul Hewitt, corporate director of people’s services at Harrow Council, said: “It’s part of the NHS long-term plan and it’s very much part of the adult services vision.

“It’s important that we take stock and think it through as it’s going to be a very important part of the landscape in the future.

“So, I’m very relaxed about taking our time on this to make sure that it is done properly.”

Javina Seghal, managing director of Harrow CCG, said the group was “trying to identify the best options” going forward.

She confirmed that it would continue to fund the current service for the next financial quarter, contributing £15,000 to the scheme.

And Carole Furlong, director of public health at Harrow Council, explained that the borough continues to look for extra funding to expand the programme.

Currently there is no official service in Harrow, though doctors can make referrals to support their patients’ needs.

A specific service called Healthwise, supported by a charitable grant, the council and Harrow CCG, has been running in the meantime.

When the programme is up and running, the council and the CCG intend to share the responsibility.