SHP have appointed their first Link Worker for Social Prescribing. This service (sometimes referred to as "community referral"), is a way of enabling GPs, nurses and other primary care professionals to offer a range of non-clinical services.
Social prescribing helps address and support peoples' needs in a more rounded, patient-centered way, so enabling patients to take more control over their own health and well-being.
How a Link Worker can help
The Link Worker can support patients to find opportunities in the community which help them feel better.
Examples include patients suffering from loneliness or who are going through financial difficulty.
In cases of loneliness the Link Worker (if appropriate) can suggest classes/group events in subjects that the patient may find engaging. The Link Worker will ensure the patient is able to get to the classes, and in some cases, take the patient first time.
In cases of financial difficulty or debt, the Link Worker can organise (if appropriate) an appointment at a Citizen's Advice Bureau office or the Solihull Community Housing money advice team to get the help the patient requires.
The service and its activities will vary across the country, but most include working with a Link Worker who works with third party organisations to access local sources of support.
The Link Worker will work with the patient for up to 12 weeks or when the patient is ready to work through their issues independently. Their work can extended beyond this time in circumstances where the patient requires longer support.
If you believe you may benefit from the service, please book an appointment with your GP who can refer you to the service.