Social prescribing link workers connect people to community-based support, including activities and services that meet practical, social, and emotional needs that affect their health and wellbeing. This includes connecting people to statutory services for example housing, financial and welfare advice.
Social prescribing works particularly well for people with low level mental health needs, who feel lonely or isolated, with long term conditions and complex social needs.
Social prescribing link workers work collaboratively across the health and care system, targeting populations with greatest need and risk of health inequalities. They collaborate with partners to identify gaps in provision and support community offers to be accessible and sustainable.
Resources to support and embed social prescribing link workers
- The workforce development framework for social prescribing link workers provides guidance for social prescribing link workers working in the NHS and those employing them. It sets out professional standards and competencies, gives guidance on supervision, training, and continuous professional development.
- Social Prescribing Network and FutureNHS collaboration platform – an online network for sharing resources and for discussion. Membership is open to social prescribing link workers, primary care networks and other colleagues involved in social prescribing.
- Welcome and induction pack for link workers in primary care networks.
- Reference guide for primary care networks provides information on setting up social prescribing services including support for recruitment, induction and supervision. It also outlines what quality assurance measures are necessary, and how information can be gathered to help develop a consistent evidence base for social prescribing.
- Summary guide gives a clear picture of what a good social prescribing scheme looks like. It also includes a Common Outcomes Framework to help measure the impact of social prescribing on people, the local system, and the voluntary and community sector.
- Online training programme, consisting of twelve modules:
- Introduction to the social prescribing link worker role
- Developing personalised care and support plans with people
- Developing partnerships
- Introducing people to community groups and VCSE organisations
- Safeguarding vulnerable people
- Keeping records and measuring impact
- Supporting people with their mental health through social prescribing
- Social welfare, legal support and money guidance
- Social prescribing for children and young people
- Social prescribing and the armed forces community
- Culturally responsive practice
NHS England hosts a regular series of webinars covering a range of topics from training and development for social prescribing link workers and broader topics to showcase good practice from across the country. Previous recordings and presentations are available on the social prescribing FutureNHS collaboration platform.