Role Description & Competencies: Social Prescribing Link Worker

Social Prescribing Link Workers improve outcomes and experiences for patients, their families and carers by supporting them to unpick complex issues affecting their health and wellbeing.
Social Prescribing Link Workers connect patients, their families and carers to community groups and help them develop skills, friendships and resilience through a holistic approach.

Link workers can also support existing voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations to be accessible and sustainable and help people to start new community groups, working collaboratively with all local partners. Social prescribing can help to strengthen community resilience and personal resilience, and reduces health inequalities by addressing the wider determinants of health, such as debt, poor housing and physical inactivity, by increasing people’s active involvement with their local communities.

Social Prescribing particularly works for people with long term conditions (including support for mental health), for people who are lonely or isolated, or have complex social needs which impact on wellbeing. Social prescribing link workers will have a key role in supporting delivery of the Comprehensive Model of Personalised Care.

What are the benefits of having a Social Prescribing Link Worker in the team?

Social Prescribing Link Workers reduce demand on General Practitioners by:

  • Supporting patients who present with non-medical issues
  • Offering complimentary non-medical support to patients with health conditions
  • Identifying underlying complex problems that are the root cause of multiple contacts with the practice (e.g  poor mental health, social isolation & loneliness, financial difficulties etc.) and then connecting patients with non- medical support.

    The intervention of a link worker can prevent crisis, reduce unnecessary hospital admissions and support sustainable changes in the patient’s life.

What can a Social Prescribing Link Worker do in General Practice?

Social Prescribing Link Workers can:

  • Provide personalised support to individuals, their families, and carers to take control of their wellbeing, live independently and improve their health outcomes
  • Provide patients, their families and carers with personalised support, time and confidence to work on underlying issues which affect their health and well being, such as debt, poor housing and physical inactivity
  • Introduce or reconnect people to community groups and services
  • Record referrals within GP clinical systems using the national SNOMED social prescribing codes
  • Develop trusting relationships by giving people time and focusing on ‘what matters to them’
  • See patients in a variety of different environments including general practice, at home and at community centres
  • Co- produce and support delivery of a simple personalised care and support plan to improve health and wellbeing

What is the maximum reimbursable amount for primary care organisations to recruit to this role?

From April 2020, this role will be reimbursed at 100% of actual salary plus defined on-costs, up to the maximum reimbursable amount of £35,389 over 12 months.

What is the recommended salary for a Social Prescribing Link Worker?

In general practice a Social Prescribing Link Worker’s salary can be negotiated, although there is an indicative salary of AFC equivalent Band 5

Is there any additional support available to support the recruitment of Social Prescribing Link Workers into General Practice?

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


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