Welcome to the Link Workers/Social Prescribing page. This page contains useful information to help Link Workers in primary care to find out more about their role and what support is available.
Please contact us if there are any other resources/information you would like added to this page.
Although the Covid19 pandemic means different ways of working, it is essential that all social prescribing link workers funded through the Primary Care Network (PCN) GP contract continue to monitor and record the impact of what is happening.
- It is essential that link workers continue to use the ONS4 wellbeing tool with each person they work with. Guidance is included in the PCN Social Prescribing Reference Guide (see Annex J).
- Link workers should also continue to code their activity, using SNOMED codes 871731000000106 (referral to social prescribing service) and 871711000000103 (social prescribing declined).
This will provide the national information that we need to show impact and protect social prescribing investment in future years. More information is on the Platform.
The Covid19 pandemic means that many new social prescribing link workers have been thrown in at the deep end. NHS England has produced a range of materials to help you get started in your job. This includes:
- PCN social prescribing reference guide
- welcome and induction pack
- accredited online learning programme
- practical support from experienced regional learning coordinators.
The full range is on the NHS England website.
You will also find support, resources and opportunity to discuss issues on the NHS England Social Prescribing Collaborative Platform (aka the Platform). To join email firstname.lastname@example.org
Looking after you too: individual coaching support by video link, available to all clinical and non-clinical primary care workforce either employed by the NHS or contracted to deliver work on behalf of the NHS.
Coronavirus (Covid19): getting tested: Public Health guidance on who can be tested, and how to go about it – which now includes all essential workers including NHS and social care workers with symptoms
Let’s Talk Loneliness: The Government’s plan to tackle loneliness during the coronavirus lockdown.
|💻💬 Webinars and where to get answers
Q&As – answers to many commonly asked questions are on the Platform.
Webinars – every Wednesday between 1.30 and 2.30pm.
In a last minute change to the billed session, this week’s webinar (29 April) was on building good relationships with your PCN and using the wellbeing plan. The recording and presentation from this and previous sessions are on the webinar section of the Platform.
The topic for next week’s webinar (6 May) is Suicide support and prevention – and managing difficult conversations. Register here.
Discussion Forums – specific to coronavirus on the Platform. This can be used at any time for peer support and to share questions or information.
Shared resources – includes useful material that other link workers have been sharing. And you’ll find this week’s crop of useful resources at the end of this update.
Regional learning coordinators (RLC) and peer support – if you don’t already know who your RLC is, email email@example.com telling us where you’re based and we’ll put you in touch.
Social prescribing link workers – the key to enhancing patient care. Podcast featuring Nic Gitsham, NHS England’s Head of Social Prescribing and Christiana Melam, CEO of the National Association of Link Workers on behalf of Ockham Healthcare.
🔗 Useful links
Book Trust Home Time – a new range of free digital resources for children from the Book Trust and the Improving Me Partnership
Coronavirus resource for practitioners and organisations – links to a huge range of information and sources of support from the Culture, Health and Wellbeing Alliance.
You will be taking referrals from the GPs in your network. (And if your social prescribing service already takes referrals from other local agencies, you will take referrals from them too.) You will spend time with the people referred to you, building trusting relationships, listening carefully to what matters to people and what motivates them.
Where people are isolated or lonely, it may be helpful for you to visit them at home.
You will work with individuals to create a shared plan based on what matters to them, to help them take control of their health and wellbeing. You will help them to connect with community and voluntary groups locally, supporting them to make their own choices and help them build confidence to cope with social situations, such as community group meetings.
You will also be working with partners to increase community capacity. Where local infrastructure agencies exist, such as councils for voluntary service (CVSs), they will provide development support to the local voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector.
You should connect with them and help them identify and meet development needs of local community groups and organisations. It is also important that you work in partnership with local community workers, local area oordinators and whatever roles are in place locally. Together you will be able to share information about what training is available for small voluntary and community groups. Together, you will be able to nurture community groups and assets to help them become sustainable.
Health Education England e-Learning for Healthcare (HEE e-LfH) has worked with PHE to develop the Helping People Living in Cold Homes e-learning programme for health and care professionals. The e-learning resource supports health and social care professionals to put National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance into practice.
Aimed at health and care staff who undertake home visits, the resource provides information on local services that can assist people living in cold homes, such as installing insulation, improving heating systems or helping reduce energy bills. It also helps people spot the signs of a cold home – including less obvious ones.
For more information about the e-learning programme, including details on how to access, visit
‘Ten top tips’ cancer resources for social prescribing link workers:
Winter Home Insulation Guide for the Elderly
This guide contains plenty of helpful information such as:
- Practical winter advice and home insulation tips for elderly people, especially those living independently.
- Helpful tips on how to deal with loneliness, isolation, and looking after the safety and well-being of seniors living alone.
- Information about energy grants, winter assistance programs, and other cold-weather benefits that the elderly are eligible for.
- Other useful information on boilers, cold weather payments, and discount and energy grants to help seniors save on energy bills.
The chapter on dealing with loneliness and isolation would be particularly useful right now, as the elderly will likely be isolated for many months to come.
Routes into social work webinar
The OU also hosted a webinar bringing together our social work leadership team, employers and apprentices. It examined their experiences and routes into social work and looked at how the programmes work. Hosted by Angela Gill, Head of Business Development – Government and Third Sector, the session included insights from:
- Joanna Rawles, Head of Social Work (England) at The Open University
- Louise Wannell, a current social work apprentice
- Lesley Furnival, Practice Consultant in Children’s Social Care at City of York Council
- Michelle Fitzgerald, Corporate Apprenticeship Manager at Brent Council
Much of the webinar focused on the apprenticeship programme (delivered in collaboration with employers), how distance learning works in practice and its benefits for employers and employees alike. You can read the full report and register to re-watch the webinar online.
The National Association of Link Workers is Social Prescribing Link Workers largest professional network in the UK which aims to increase professionalism and reduce isolation.
Their membership provides future and existing Social Prescribing organisations and Link Workers with a single point of access for Link Worker support and development.
Please contact us if you would like further information about Social Prescribing in Oxford City.