Meet the new army!
An army of advisers will be recruited to help patients live fitter, healthier lives and combat anxiety, loneliness and depression under plans to ramp up social prescribing set to be launched by NHS England soon. Around half of GP appointments are not directly related to medical conditions, according to experts.
Growing evidence shows that referrals to community services such as exercise or art classes, history groups and even ballroom dancing can boost health and wellbeing more than dishing out pills or other treatments.
Now NHS England plans to recruit 1,000 social prescribing ‘link workers’ as part of the NHS Long Term Plan. The link workers will be able to give people time to talk about what matters to them and support them to find suitable activities that are a better alternative to medication as part of a step change in the provision of ‘personalised care’.
The blueprint for Universal Personalised Care, which will also free up GPs to deal with patients who really need them, is due to approved by the NHS England Board later this week.
The NHS Long Term Plan will see GPs surgeries big and small will work to support each other in around 1,400 Primary Care Networks covering the country, with each network having access to a social prescriber link worker and NHS England agreeing to fund their salaries in full.
By 2023-24, social prescribers will be handling around 900,000 patient appointments a year.
First army recruits In West Lancashire
Social Prescribing Link Worker Salary £20,000 – £22,500 West Lancashire CVS & West Lancashire GP Federation. An exciting opportunity has arisen for a motivated individual to work in collaboration with West Lancashire Council for Voluntary Services (CVS) and West Lancashire GP Federation to deliver a coordinated and high-quality Social Prescribing Link Worker service – supporting clients to access and engage with the extensive range of support in the community.
The post holder will manage a caseload of clients through assessment to onward-referral, working with clients in the practice that have been referred by the GP. They will provide ongoing support for an allocated timeframe to promote engagement with identified services and achievement of goals. The role requires extensive liaison with statutory and non-statutory services, to both generate referrals into the service and support access to relevant local services, so that seamless and joined up local services are provided for the individual. The post holder will have demonstrable high levels of emotional intelligence, with working practices based upon compassion and empathy.
Team Leader. Salary £22,500 – £25,000. The post holder will work in collaboration with West Lancashire Council for Voluntary Services (CVS) and West Lancashire Network Plus to deliver a coordinated and high-quality social prescribing Link Worker service – supporting clients to access and engage with the extensive range of support in the community.
The post holder will be responsible for providing leadership to the Social Prescribing Link Workers in the neighbourhood team. This will include support with training and development, ongoing monitoring of capacity and providing supervision for the Link Workers if necessary. Social Prescribing is a new initiative in two of the neighbourhoods of West Lancashire and therefore will provide an excellent opportunity for an individual to be involved in establishing and grounding the operational aspects of the service. This is a responsible role and vital for safe and excellent services!