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Social Prescribers are an important part of the general practice team. They assist patients to link in with community services and support systems.

Social prescribing works for a wide range of people, including people: 

  • with one or more long-term conditions 

  • who need support with their mental health 

  • who are lonely or isolated 

  • who have complex social needs which affect their wellbeing. 

Training and Development

Click HERE for the Minimum Training Standards & Recommended Additional Training.

PCNs are required to ensure that social prescribing link workers complete the following training:

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:

  1. How the pandemic impacted needs

  2. Prevention and Empowerment for Self-Care

  3. Social Prescribing in Multi-Disciplinary Teams

  4. Social Prescribing Partnership Working

  5. Connecting Primary Care with the Community

  6. Patient Story: Alzheimer’s

  7. Patient Story: Antidepressants

Up-to-date resources to aid SPLW's in their work can be found through MECC Link - Simple Signposting to Better Health and Wellbeing - A resource for those working in personalised care roles across NCL, who are searching for lifestyle referral info (e.g., smoking cessation, weight management etc) or information on social issues (e.g., housing, cost of living etc).

Benefits to Patients, PCNs and wider NHS

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

The SPLW role 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.

SPLW Sample Job Description

Please see a sample job description for a Social Prescribing Link Worker that may be adapted to suit your requirements.