Social Prescribing

Introduction to the Social Prescribing Link Worker service

 

Many patients visiting their GP surgeries have underlying financial, environmental and social issues that are impacting on their physical and mental health. They therefore may benefit from a non-traditional, holistic approach to address their health problems. The SPLW scheme aims to support and empower patients to take control of their journey to better health and wellbeing by offering non-clinical support, very much focussed on community referral.

Social prescribing is open to patients aged 18+ who present to their GP with issues that have a non – clinical underlying cause. Patients may have a social need, on-going health conditions, regularly attend their GP surgery or are at risk of unplanned admission.

Social Prescribing Link Workers meet patients referred by their GP at their practice before referring and signposting to appropriate services. Patients are treated holistically with the point of referral determined by individual need; this could include information to support health, finance or social isolation.

SPLWs allocate up to one hour with each patient and arrange a follow-up contact to track progress. SPLWs will update GPs on the patient’s progress and referral pathways before discharge.

Inclusions

 

  • People struggling to adapt or cope with chronic conditions- that can’t be addressed by clinical consultation
  • Mental health and emotional wellbeing
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Domestic abuse
  • Loneliness and isolation
  • Low self esteem
  • Poor housing
  • Financial
  • Benefits
  • Carers
  • Bereavement
  • Health goals-e.g. weight management, healthy eating, stop smoking, physical activity.

Exclusions

 

  • Housebound patients
  • Acutely unwell patients
  • Mental health patients with a recent discharge from hospital
  • Patients under 18 years of age.