A national day to celebrate and showcase the contribution of social prescribing link workers in improving population health and wellbeing. This coincides with the 1st ever national social prescribing link worker conference taking place in London.
Who can participate?
• Anyone who has directly benefited from being supported by a link worker or social prescribing scheme
• Anyone who has witnessed in any other way the difference social prescribing brings to individuals/communities
• Anyone who thinks it may support them or a family member in the future
Including but not limited to:
• Social prescribing link workers
• Social prescribing schemes and suppliers
• GPs & Health Clinicians
• Allied Health Professionals
• Social Prescribing related volunteers
How can you participate?
A. Celebrate & showcase
1. Answer in not more than 200 characters or record video no longer than 1 minute
highlighting how a link worker and/or social prescribing has helped you or might help you or has helped your patient or user?
– You can use the opportunity to celebrate and showcase your local social prescribing scheme, primary care network and link workers as appropriate
2. Post your answer on twitter, Facebook, Instagram as appropriate using #linkworkerday19 #GlueInHSC on 8th July 2019
3. To showcase your answers in our online gallery, national conference & brochure and social media channels on 8th July 2019, please send your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org by 3rd June 2019
o Your name
o Twitter handle, if applicable
o Indicate your connection to social prescribing (e.g. carer, patient, GP, social prescribing link worker, commissioners, manager, etc)
B. Raise awareness
1. Use the official social media, logo, email kits for your profile to raise awareness and to create your own swag including t-shirts, fliers etc.
2. Use #linkworkerday19 #glueinhsc on social media
A social prescribing link worker is a ‘trusted resource’ that can help multidisciplinary teams (MDTs), including occupational therapists, deliver seamless holistic services to patients.
We partnered with the Royal College of Occupational Therapists to spotlight Occupational Therapist (OT) and Social prescribing link worker partnership working in order to increase understanding of the role link workers can play in MDTs.
Read extracts from the OT news article:
Make the most of the ‘trusted resource’ of link workers
How our member, Reading Voluntary Action is working with occupational therapist referrals to give people the community support they need
link worker report
Social prescribing link worker report release
14th March 2019
The National Association of Link Workers today released it’s getting to know the link worker workforce: understanding link workers knowledge, skills, experiences and support needs report
Link workers are the workforce that are critical to delivering the NHS Long Term Plan social prescribing ambitions.
Link workers enable GPs, primary care networks, mental health trusts, social and community care organisations to deliver holistic services to patients. A link worker ensures patients get help for their non-clinical holistic needs.
The role of a link worker is still relatively new and as such this is the 1st ever report to highlight the knowledge, skills, experiences and support needs of existing link workers.
As NHS England has committed to funding the recruitment and training of over 1,000 social prescribing link workers to be in place by the end of 2020/21, rising further so that by 2023/24 all staff within GP practices have access to a link worker and as there are plans to mainstream social prescribing across the UK: this presents an opportunity to be informed about setting the new recruits up for success.
“we are committed to ensuring there is equitable access to support for link workers regardless of their employer or geographical location in order to realise positive social prescribing outcomes for patients”
Christiana Melam-CEO of the National Association of Link Workers
For further information and enquiries
Join the twitter conversation using #linkworkerreport
Contact: Michelle Porthouse, email@example.com
National Association of Link Workers
Social prescribing is a win win situation for primary care networks and their local population. Supported and resilient link workers are a trusted resource that can help general practice to help their patients with non-clinical needs, allowing GPs to focus on what they can do – their patients’ clinical needs. Link workers are an integral part of the primary care network team, delivering holistic service to patients and improving the health of the local population.
3 things primary care networks should do to increase successful delivery:
- Ensure the link worker’s role is interpreted same way not only in primary care but across the STP and nationally
- Ensure the link worker’s role is embedded in local workforce transformation and integrated care approaches
- Ensure link workers training is not disjointed but based on the link worker competency framework
This will ensure efficiency and consistency which will yield higher return on investment and patient experience.
The 1st ever national social prescribing link worker success conference holds on 8th July.
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Want to discuss further, book a phone meeting
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
How it started:
Our Social Prescribing and Wellbeing Project was set up at the GP surgery as a pilot project, about 18months ago, in response to an identified need. This need came about because a relatively new service, at the time, provided by a Community Navigator was becoming inundated and overloaded with requests from GPs across the city to signpost patients, who presented with non-medical issues, to services for support with a range of social or emotional (i.e. non-medical) needs.
The presentation to the Patient Participation Group (PPG) resulted in an interested group of volunteers being trained by the local CVS/Community Navigator team and then some of those volunteers taking the project forward with the surgery’s support.
• As volunteer link workers, we support the (18000 +patients) surgery by spending more time with patients who have non-medical issues but don’t know where else to go. Patients appreciate the time we give them
• For complex cases we can escalate to the Community Navigator
Support we received
• We received initial training which focused more on active listening and protective behaviours a couple of us spent time at the local CAB.
• The surgery is very appreciative of what we are trying to do and we have a proactive GP and Practice Manager who are keen that we should succeed.
• We have been invited to surgery meetings to give feedback and they would like us to have our photos on the board alongside other staff members to show the patients who we are.
How we work:
• Clinics are held on 2 half days per week so that a consulting room is always available
• We have devised a closed group scheduling system on Yammer
• We have produced a small referral pad which each of the GPs, Nurses and Receptionists can use to give to a patient to take to reception to book an appointment. This also acts as a reminder to the GPs of the service available by the volunteers.
• By developing strong links with the surgery, we have a secure email account that allows us to share referral forms back to the surgery to update patients records
• We have refined our IT trails so that we have as much face to face time with the patient as possible
• We are proactive in gathering leaflets, learning on the hoof, drawing on our backgrounds and general knowledge.
The issues have been:
• Recruiting and keeping volunteers
• Finding a system for scheduling the rota
• Designing a system/paper & electronic trail that works for all parties
• Having a manageable IT system for recording actions and follow ups
• Having a dedicated space within the surgery to see patients
• Getting sufficient referrals from the GPs
• Lack of funding
• Training for volunteers/ new recruits
• Knowing what 3rd party services are currently available
• Getting volunteers’ faces known around the surgery
Written by our member Angela Bettridge (volunteer link worker) The Maltings Surgery, St Albans in Hertfordshire.
Join us if you are interested in ending link worker professional isolation and would like a single point of access for empowering and supporting the social prescribing workforce inorder to help increase positive wellbeing outcomes for themselves, individuals and communities.