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NHS to recruit army of link workers to increase social prescribing

By Tom Walker    28 Jan 2019
Social prescribing connects people to community groups and statutory services – including physical activities

NHS England is to recruit 1,000 more link workers as part of plans to increase the number of people it refers to exercise classes, local sports groups and other community activities.

The increased focus on social prescribing is designed to help ease pressures on GPs by improving the health of patients who don't need pills.

Social prescribing is a way for local agencies – including GPs, pharmacies, multi-disciplinary teams, hospital discharge teams and allied health professionals – to refer people to a link worker.

In turn, link workers are trained to take a holistic approach to people’s health and wellbeing.

They connect people to community groups and statutory services – such as physical activities – in order to provide practical and emotional support.

Link workers also support existing community groups to be accessible and sustainable, and help people to start new groups, working collaboratively with all local partners.

"Social prescribing works for a wide range of people," the NHS states on its website.

"It works for those with one or more long-term conditions, people who need support with their mental health and those who are lonely or isolated.

"It can also assist those who have complex social needs which affect their wellbeing."

NHS England  link workers  social prescribing 
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