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Social Prescribing Link Worker

Overview of the role

Social prescribing enables all primary care staff and local agencies to refer people to a link worker. Link workers give people time and focus on what matters to the person as identified through shared decision making or personalised care and support planning. They connect people to community groups and agencies for practical and emotional support. They work within multi-disciplinary teams and collaborate with local partners to support community groups to be accessible and sustainable and help people to start new groups. Social prescribing complements other approaches such as ‘active signposting’. Link workers typically support people on average over 6-12 contacts (including phone calls, meetings and home visits) with a typical caseload of 200-250 people per year, depending on the complexity of people’s needs and the maturity of the social prescribing scheme.

Social perscribing

Education and training required

  • Link workers will require NVQ Level 3, advanced level or equivalent or working. towards accredited NHSE/I e-learning health platform training modules 1-6 available.
  • Ongoing development to support role.
  • Regular access to clinical supervision.

Career framework

Indictive Salary AfC band 5.  

Job description

NHSE/I have developed a job description and recruitment pack which is available on the Future NHS website. Access to the site requires user registration. Once registered, navigate to the role selection page to find a range of supporting resources.

For brief outline of responsibilities, skills and competencies please see below.

Activities Undertaken

  • Providing personalised support to individuals, their families, and carers to take control of their wellbeing, live independently and improve their health outcomes.
  • Developing trusting relationships by giving people time and focusing on ‘what matters to them’.
  • Taking a holistic approach, based on the person’s priorities and the wider determinants of health.
  • Co-producing and supporting delivery of a simple personalised care and support plan to improve health and wellbeing.
  • Introducing or reconnecting people to community groups and services.
  • Evaluating the individual impact of a person’s wellness progress.
  • Recording referrals within GP clinical systems using the national SNOMED social prescribing codes.
  • Drawing on and increasing the strengths and capacities of local communities, enabling local voluntary, community and social enterprise sector (VCSE) organisations and community groups to receive social prescribing referrals.

Skills and Competencies

  • Listening and communication skills.
  • Empathy.
  • Emotional resilience.
  • Work in a person-cantered, non-judgmental way across whole, diverse communities.
  • Collaborative working.
  • Work from an asset-based approach.
  • Motivational coaching and interview skills.
  • Data collection and monitoring skills to assess impact.

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

Support available for introducing the role

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

Further information

National Society for Social Prescribinghttps://socialprescribingacademy.org.uk/

NHS England / Improvement reference guide

NHS England / Improvement summary guide

NHS England / Improvement social prescribing FAQs

National Association of Link Workers professional membership organisation

e-Learning for Healthcare social prescribing link worker training programme

NHS England / Improvement social prescribing link worker welcome pack: https://www.england.nhs.uk/publication/social-prescribing-link-worker-welcome-pack/

Royal Society for Public Health social prescribing framework for allied health professionals: https://www.rsph.org.uk/our-work/resources/ahp-social-prescribing-frameworks.htm