Social prescriber link workers (SPLW) give people time and focus on what matters to the person as identified through shared decision making or personalised care and support planning. They connect people to community groups and agencies for practical and emotional support. They work within multidisciplinary teams and collaborate with local partners to support community groups to be accessible and sustainable and help people to start new groups. Social prescribing complements other approaches such as ‘active signposting’.

SPLW typically support people on average over 6-12 contacts (including phone calls, meetings and home visits) with a typical caseload of 200- 250 people per year, depending on the complexity of people’s needs and the maturity of the social prescribing scheme.

For more information and useful links:

Working with staff in your PCN or borough to embed the personalised care ARRS role?

The PCN advisors can present at your meetings to support these conversations.

Email hlp.socialprescribing@nhs.net to book

Click Here For The Job Description Template

Training/Development

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

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

  • SPLW 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.

RESOURCES

As part of the PCN advisor offer to support PCNs to embed the three personalised care roles, Healthy London Partnership has pulled together useful events, resources, updates and questions coming up to share with you all.

To connect with others embedding the roles and asks questions of each other, please join the Whatsapp group here.  Add you contacts details to be reached by those in the group here.

Events

Past events recordings

External recordings

External events

  • Personal Health Budget Lunch and Learns – ongoing series by NHSEI on how to implement PHBs, examples and practical resources
  • Spring Health Creation festival – hosted by Bromley by Bow Centre, for all on 5th May. Sign up here
  • The Big Conversation for Improvement – NHS free 2 day virtual conference on 11th and 12th of May. Find out more here.
  • Social prescribing and inequalities: critical conversations and practical approaches, a conference on 26th May. Sign up here.

Training opportunities

  1. Health inequalities e-learning for all primary care staff.
  2. Management, team and leadership bitesize e-learning by NHS Leadership Academy

PCN specific opportunities:

  1. Connect with other PCN managers: The NHS Confederation has a PCN Managers group that connects and supports PCN Managers and Operations Managers, as well as sharing useful resources. For more information you can email Primarycare@nhsconfed.org
  2. PCN Development: A multidisciplinary development programme to translate vision into impact: Register here for the PCN Development Programme.
  3. Practice Manager at Scale:  Strategic Skills Programme for Practice Managers: Register here for the Practice Managers working at Scale Programme Cohort 1 or Register here for the Practice Managers working at Scale Programme Cohort 2.
  4. Learning to Lead in the PCN Environment: For new and existing leaders from multi-disciplinary backgrounds who are now working in new structure as Primary Care Networks: Register here for the Learning to Lead Programme Cohort 1. Or Register here for the Learning to Lead Programme Cohort 2

Leadership opportunities

  1. Become a Social Prescribing Champion: NHSE/I are working with the National Academy for Social Prescribing to run the Social Prescribing Champion Programme (SPCP) across England. The programme is open to clinical and non-clinical NHS colleagues who are passionate about social prescribing, and who want to raise the profile of social prescribing, network with peers, share learning on what works and support social prescribing link workers. Find out more here.  Expressions of interest now closed.
  2. Attend the Advancing women in healthcare leadership summit

The programme will explore the barriers women face in developing roles in healthcare leadership and provide the practical support needed to overcome these challenges. Book a free place here.

Funding opportunities

  1. Grants for an engagement project idea about immunology and COVID-19, or vaccines more generally from the British Society for Immunology. This is something the personalised care ARRS roles could lead on to improve access and reduce inequality. Read more here.
  2. Guidance on the training hub pots of money – available for all primary care staff including ARRS. See here (register on Future NHS first).

Documents

MAP: A map of all the social prescribing services in London, where they are, how to contact them produced by the HLP team.

CASE STUDY: A place-based approach to health equity in Newcastle

BLOG: How ICSs will help improve population health post COVID, by Debbie Stark, South West NHS regional director of public health

BLOG: The value of partnership working with VCSE for ICS by Lord Victor Adebowale

PODCAST: New Leadership Listens podcast – NHS leaders

Guidance

  1. Personalised Care DES specification supplement
    1. By 30 Sept – Bring together VCSE, LA, community to co design targeted programme to increase access for a specific cohort with unmet need (for Oct delivery) using:
  1. Lived experience
  2. Population health and inequality data
  3. Social prescribing data
    1. By 30 Sept – all clinical staff complete 30 min e-learning on SDM by PCI
  1. Guide on implementing the tackling HI DES spec for PCN managers by Tara Humphrey
  2. Updated IIF guidance (new/continued indicators for 22/23:
    1. HI-02 – ethnicity recording – 2021/22 indicator that was not in 2022/23 previously but is listed.
    2. EHCH-01 – Care home patients as % of care home beds – 2021/22 indicator that was not in 2022/23 previously but is listed.
    3. SMR-01 is now broken down into 4 separate indicators.
    4. EHCH-06 – running period changed
  1. NICE recommendations on how we should approach health inequalities with the public (as a result of a listening exercise)

Resources shared by others

Digital primary care Future NHS platform Use their message board to ask questions and raise problem here.

Hiring new SPLW, CC or HWBC?

  1. Make sure they sign up to the London wide peer supports and mailings for their role here.
  2. Make sure they are signed up to the Future NHS pages which contain resources for induction as well as continued learning and development. There are also resources for managers here, e.g. recruitment packs.
    1. SP national page SP London page
    2. CC national page CC London page
    3. HWBC national page