Career Pathway: Social Prescribing Link Worker

What are the entry requirements to train as a Social Prescribing Link Worker?

There is no professional qualification to become a Social Prescribing Link Worker, but it might  be helpful to have a social care qualification such as a Level 2 or 3 Diploma in Health and Social Care, or knowledge in a specific area of support such as employment, social isolation, mental health, housing or physical activity. Social Prescribing Link Workers require NVQ Level 3, Advanced level or equivalent or working towards Accredited NHSE/I E- learning health platform training (modules 1-6 available.)

Social Prescribing Link Workers are a new role for general practice, so it is unlikely there will be lots of applicants who have done the job before. However, there will be many people with transferable skills and experience that would be attracted to this role.

Desirable skills include:

  • Listening and communication skills
  • Empathy and emotional resilience
  • Ability to work in a non-judgmental, person-centred way across whole, diverse communities
  • Collaborative working skills
  • Motivational coaching/ interview skills
  • Data collection & monitoring skills to assess impact.

Further competencies will emerge as the role is developed and embedded in primary care.

Is there a requirement for clinical supervision of the role?

Social Prescribing Link Workers must have access to clinical supervision via their PCN. Best practice would be to identify a first point of contact for general advice and support, along with a named GP to provide supervision (amount not defined.) The GP Supervisor would meet with the Link Worker regularly to provide line management, address any issues or concerns and help them to succeed in the role. This will include ensuring that the Link Worker can raise patient-related concerns (such as abuse, domestic violence, or other safeguarding issues) and can refer individuals back to other health professionals as relevant, for further support, review or monitoring

What training is available for Social Prescribing Link Workers new to the role?

NHSE/I have been working in partnership with Health Education England (HEE) and developed some online training.

This E-learning resource has been developed for link workers and includes the core elements and skills required to do the job and deliver social prescribing as part of a PCN multi-disciplinary team.  There are six sessions in total, which will take around three hours to complete:

  1. Introduction to the social prescribing link worker role
  2. Developing personalised care and support plans with people
  3. Developing partnerships
  4. Introducing people to community groups and VCSE organisations
  5. Safeguarding vulnerable people
  6. Keeping records and measuring impact

What support is available for Social Prescribing Link Workers  in General Practice in SY&B?

Please visit the Initiatives/Support Available link at the bottom of this page to find out more.

Click below to find out more about the role: