Social prescribing link workers (SPLW) 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 multidisciplinary 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’.
SPLW 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.
For more information and useful links:
Workforce development framework: social prescribing link workers – now published
This new framework provides guidance for people employed as a link worker and those employing them. It will help increase the understanding of the role and where link workers can have most impact in supporting and empowering people to improve their health and wellbeing. It also sets professional standards and competencies, give guidance on supervision, training, and continuous professional development.
The framework has been developed with support and input from a wide variety of internal and external stakeholders.
Working with staff in your PCN or borough to embed the personalised care ARRS role?
The PCN advisors can present at your meetings to support these conversations.
Email email@example.com to book
|Key roles and responsibilities||Education and training
||Completed the eLearning for Health online programme ‘Social Prescribing – learning for link workers’
Enrolled in or qualified from appropriate training as accredited by the Personalised Care Institute
Attends the peer support networks delivered at place or system by the integrated care system (ICS) and/or NHS England in the region
|A named first point of contact in the PCN (including a GP); including access to monthly supervision from an appropriate health professional (e.g. allied health professional, GP)
Further guidance on supervision, education and training can be found in the workforce development framework for social prescribing link workers.
Click HERE for the Minimum Training Standards & Recommended Additional Training
PCNs are required to ensure that social prescribing link workers complete the following training:
- Completion of the NHSE/I online learning programme: https://www.e-lfh.org.uk/ programmes/social- prescribing/
- Enrolled in or qualified in appropriate training as set out by the Personalised Care Institute
PCNs must provide social prescribing link workers with:
- Regular access to clinical supervision provided by a GP
- Access to GP IT systems to enable them to record referrals using SNOMED codes
Following last year’s production of the pan-London Social Prescribing film Social Prescribing: Transforming Health for London, London Personalised Care Team and Social Prescribing had so much rich content from the interviews that they were able to produce additional films from the footage.
Benefits to patients
- People with LTCs and their carers benefit from access to additional, non-clinical support options via primary care. Patients experience positive outcomes associated with their health and wellbeing; and can become less socially isolated and more independent.
Benefits to PCN’s
- SPLW can significantly reduce GP consultations (59% of GPs think as much).One in five GPs regularly refer patients to social prescribing. 40% would refer if they had more information about available services. GPs and their existing staff recognise the importance of social support as an alternative to medication. Simple referral processes for GPs and other clinical staff are very helpful.
Benefits to the wider NHS
- SPLW are already having a positive impact on GP consultation rates, A&E attendances, hospital stays, medication use and social care. The University of Westminster led an evidence review looking at the impact of social prescribing on demand for NHS healthcare. The review found: an average of 28% fewer GP consultations and 24% fewer A&E attendances where social prescribing ‘connector’ services are working well.As much as a 33% reduction in A&E attendances and 58% reduction in unscheduled hospital admissions. Social prescribing seen that generally people’s health and wellbeing improves and contributes to building stronger communities. Social prescribing allows the provision of innovative community-based services that complement traditional medical interventions.
To connect with others embedding the roles and asks questions of each other, please join the Whatsapp group here. Add you contacts details to be reached by those in the group here.
PCN Support Offer – Proactive Social Prescribing
Would you like to join a community of practice to support implementing the proactive social prescribing service as part of the personalised care DES spec? Please fill out this short form here.
- Book in 1:1 support sessions to embed the three roles and tackle health inequalities. Sign up here.
- Working with staff in your PCN or borough to embed the personalised care ARRS role? The PCN advisors can present at your meetings to support these conversations. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to book.
Past events recordings
- PCN support session: Setting up a proactive social prescribing service (personalised care DES spec) Recording and slides here.
- Slide 11-14 – detail of the personalised care des spec – what is needed
- Proactive SP case studies – slide 26, 30
- Next steps to implement the personalised care DES spec – slide 32
- Resources and support to coproduce, work in partnership and target cohorts – slide 38,39
- PCN support session: Population Health and the PC ARRS roles: Recording, slides here (individual recordings are linked to the slides)
- PCN support session: Spotlight on Health and Wellbeing Coaches. Recording, slides and FAQ here.
- PCN support session: Spotlight on Care Coordinators. Recording, slides and FAQ here.
- PCN support session: Embedding the three personalised care ARRS roles: Recording here
- PCN support session: Using your personalised care roles effectively: Recording here
- Measuring and communication results with impact for Social Prescribing – Thriving Communities recording here.
- Why and how ICSs should partner with the voluntary sector to tackle health inequalities recording
- Green Social Prescribing Taster Sessions – Open to all interested in using green spaces for health – Find out more and sign up – in green spaces across London
|The Social Prescribing Innovators Programme
Applications close on Wednesday 20th July.
We will be communicating the outcomes of applications w/c 8th August. For more information and any updates, please visit our website here.
|Social Prescribing Collaboration Platform – feedback wanted
The national team is reviewing and refreshing this platform as well as reviewing the SP webinar series in terms of topics, frequency and format.
|Good practice examples wanted – inclusive access to digital tools
The Digital First Primary Care Team at NHS England, working with Good Things Foundation, is looking for work supporting underserved communities and groups that fall in the CORE20PLUS5. PCNs, VCSE and wider who have helped people use digital, Learnings will be shared via a short publication
complete this short form by the 20th July.
|Social Prescribing Information standard, minimum data standard and other national SP information work
What has happened to date in this space?
National priorities for SP evaluation
Minimum data set (MDS)
SP information standard
Hiring new SPLW, CC or HWBC?
- Make sure they sign up to the London wide peer supports and mailings for their role here.
- Make sure they are signed up to the Future NHS pages which contain resources for induction as well as continued learning and development. There are also resources for managers here, e.g. recruitment packs.
- Regional Leadership for Personalised Care Programme – Applications Open! Apply here.
- The Leadership for Personalised Care Regional programme is designed for groups of two or more people from one place who want to learn new skills and work together to drive forward personalised care. The programme will help you focus on what really matters and develop your ability to lead change and influence others to make a positive difference. It runs virtually over three days.
- Foundations in System Leadership; collaborating for health and care – Leadership Academy
- Management, team and leadership bitesize e-learning by NHS Leadership Academy
- Core Managers Programme to provide free inclusive leadership. register for programme on the NHS London Leadership Academy website.
- Building Coaching Capability – contact email@example.com to find out how to get involved
- Healthier Futures Action Fund – applications open
- A new Healthier Futures Action Fund from the Greener NHS will support individuals and teams within NHS organisations to kick-start innovative initiatives or ideas that will improve health and patient care, reduce inequalities, and deliver value, while supporting a more sustainable health service.
- The fund is open to clinical and non-clinical individuals and teams within the NHS, for suggested bids £3,000-£15,000. Find out more and apply for the Healthier Futures Action Fund today. Applications close 19 August 2022.
CVD Prevent Data and Improvement tool: CVD claims 136K lives a year and is a large cause of health inequalities. Find out more here.
Podcast: Dr Bola Owolabi, Director, National Healthcare Inequalities Improvement Programme joins Tara Humphrey, founder of THC Primary Care, for episode #198 of The Business of Healthcare Podcast. Dr Owolabi discusses her career journey from GP to director, circles of concern and influence and how to not make healthcare inequalities a tick box exercise.
Tool: Map the inclusion health needs of your PCN population here.
Checklist: Attached is a checklist to help you get started with the Proactive Social Prescribing aspect of the Personalised care DES spec.
- Statutory Guidance for ICS and NHS Trusts has been released on working in partnership with people and communities.
- Draft Workforce Development Frameworks attached. NHSEI are currently working through all the helpful feedback shared on these documents.
- Personalised Care DES specification supplement
- By 30 Sept – Bring together VCSE, LA, community to co design targeted programme to increase access for a specific cohort with unmet need (for Oct delivery) using:
- Lived experience
- Population health and inequality data
iii. Social prescribing data
- By 30 Sept – all clinical staff complete 30 min e-learning on SDM by PCI
- Guide on implementing the tackling HI DES spec for PCN managers by Tara Humphrey
- NHSEI Health Equality objectives for 22/23 – 23/24
Data and Dashboards
Several tools have been developed by national teams for addressing healthcare inequalities, including the Healthcare Inequalities Improvement Dashboard which provides metrics and charts across various healthcare domains to support colleagues across the NHS.
The new tool – Actionable insights – uses statistical techniques to present data into clear sentences, rather than using charts alone. Read this blog about the dashboard.
The dashboard is aimed at:
- Regional SROs for health inequalities
- Health inequalities leads and teams across regions and systems
- Analysts at ICS/regional/national level
- Individuals in trusts and primary care networks responsible for tackling health inequalities
- Public health policy professionals at ICS/regional/national level
For more information or to request access to the dashboard, visit england.nhs.uk/about/equality/equality-hub/core20plus5/hi-improvement-dashboard.