We welcome the publication of the loneliness strategy and the prime minister’s unwavering support for social prescribing; ‘GPs in England will be able to refer patients experiencing loneliness to community activities and voluntary services by 2023’. We know only 20% of our health is accountable to healthcare and social prescribing is the appropriate resource for the 80% that are largely non-medical.
Non-clinical link workers are hugely crucial to the success of social prescribing. Clients/patients often see them as role models, therefore it is important that they are adequately supported and do not feel professionally isolated themselves .
The key to successful social prescribing is link worker:
- – empowerment
- – development
- – support
7 actions that needs to be taken:
- Recognise that there are non-clinical and clinical link workers and therefore provide role clarity and guidance
- Provide a cross cutting national standardised curriculum for non-clinical link worker education/training
- Provide career progression routes for non-clinical link workers
- Decent pay for non-clinical link workers, up to a minimum of NHS band 5
- Recognise the role of volunteers and patient participation groups in social prescribing and therefore provide support and guidance
- Support link workers to role model social prescribing
- Provide an upto date national open access directory of services, community activities and community groups
Get intouch with us to chat about collaborating on these 7 areas or to learn more firstname.lastname@example.org